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INTERACTIVE

Chats Ep. 10 · On Ambition, Immigration, Class in "Gold Diggers"

Writer and journalist Sanjena Sathian in conversation with Vishakha Darbha about rule-breaking, questions from her publishing team, whether explaining world-building came easily to the writing of her debut novel, Gold Diggers (Random House, 2021), what makes a "good" immigrant novel, and writing about the Indian-American diaspora in its own mythologies, complications, and exceptionalism.

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Ambition
Class
Class Struggle
World-building
Fiction
Debut Authors
Debut Novel
Upper-caste
Rules
Rule-breaking
Immigration
Cultural Narratives of Immigration
Indian-American Exceptionalism
Indian-American Diaspora
Good Immigrant Novels
BIPOC Audiences
Explanation
Immigrant Pressure
Unconscious
Identity
Miranda July
Vanity
Gold Diggers
Ruth Ozeki
Latin American Literature
Magical Realism
Japanese Literature
Alchemy
Satire
Fantasy
Science Fiction
Genre
Genre Tropes
Genre Fluidity
Jhumpa Lahiri
Zadie Smith
Philip Roth
Irreverence
Diaspora
Big History
Revisionism
Myth of the Model Minority
Mythology
Private Schools
Gold Rush
Eternalism
Temporality
SAAG Chats

SANJENA SATHIAN is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Gold Diggers, currently being adapted for TV with Mindy Kaling. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Southern Humanities Review, The Best American Short Stories 2022, and more. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She lives in Atlanta and is currently a Fiction Fellow at Emory University.

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SANJENA SATHIAN

Despite the marketing of her debut novel "Gold Diggers," Sanjena Sathian did not set out to interrogate the model minority myth or the dynamics of class in the Indian-American diaspora. Instead, she began with the relationship of a mother and daughter. The world of an "uncritical and unthinking ambition" gradually began to assert itself in the narrative.

VOL. 1
21 Jun 2021
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