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An Interview with Rasana Atreya, author of Daughters Inherit Silence

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Rasana Atreya weaves tales of resilience, self-discovery, and cultural exploration. With a passion for celebrating the diversity of Indian culture, she takes readers on transformative journeys through her upmarket women’s fiction. Her debut novel, Tell A Thousand Lies, was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize (UK, 2012). She also finds mention in the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque’s Emerging South Asian Women Writers: Essays and Interviews (From Antiquity to Modernity Book 1) by Deborah Fillerup Weagel and Feroza Jussawalla.

Rasana is also the author of The Temple Is Not My Father, Talking Is Wasted Breath, and Daughters Inherit Silence. The Water Wives and House of Widows are her works in progress. Learn more at

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

Growing up, I read a lot of books by British author Enid Blyton. But what was a young reader from India to make of foods like scones and tarts and clotted cream? All I knew (and loved) were idlis and dosas and rotis. So I decided to write my own stories, with foods that actually made sense!

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I have a master’s degree in electrical engineering and worked in IT for a few years. Something my readers might not know: I went whitewater rafting on the Zambezi in Africa. I had to remove my eyeglasses for the trip, for which I’m profoundly grateful. It was only later that I found out that a couple of crocs were sunning themselves on the banks.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title was inspired by this quote by Nigerian poet Ijeoma Umebinyuo: “Daughters do not have to inherit the silence of their mothers.” I was profoundly affected by this quote.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

All my books are set in India. In my books, women find their voices, find themselves. I want readers to know that there’s more to India than the poverty Western media loves to show.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m working on two books right now: The Water Wives and House of Widows.

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