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Pooja Makhijani

Pooja Makhijani writes children's books, essays, and articles, and also develops educational media and curricula. Find her online at poojamakhijani.com.
Balli Kaur Jaswal—author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, her dark and funny U.S. debut—and my paths crossed in Singapore, as part of the country’s small, tight-knit literary community. I was enchanted by Inheritance, her impressive debut novel that traverses the island-state’s history from 1970 to 1990, the first English-language novel about Singapore’s Punjabi-Sikh diaspora. The novel was published in Australia, where Jaswal lived and worked as a secondary-school English teacher, to great acclaim....
When I was in college, I stumbled upon Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers, a collection of fourteen interviews with new Americans, by Marina Budhos. I was barely 21 then, and I was desperately searching for “me” reflected in the pages of a book. I found bits of myself mirrored in the teens profiled in Remix, and the book became very precious to me. Soon after, I read Budhos’s two novels: House of Waiting, a...