First Language(s): Bangla
Second Language(s): English, Hindi
Mandira Pattnaik is the author of Anatomy Of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople (2022), Girls Who Don't Cry (2023) and Where We Set Our Easel (forthcoming). Mandira's work has appeared in McNeese Review, Penn Review, Quarterly West, Passages North, DASH, Miracle Monocle, Timber, Contrary, Watershed Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, AAWW Margins, and others. She edits for trampset and Vestal Review. More: mandirapattnaik.com
What was your favorite book as a child?
As a child in India, I loved reading folktales, our epics in shorter versions for children, Bangla children's books, adventure stories, Jataka tales and Panchatantra. I also used to read the abridged versions of books like The Tale of Two Cities, The Swiss Family Robinson, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Black Beauty, and so on. My favorite book has to be Little Women for obvious reasons. As a household of two sisters, homemaker mother and father at work and travelling often, I could very well relate to it.
What was the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
Being shy and introvert was perhaps the reason I started to write at all. My journals and diaries were places I could pour my heart out. I soon started writing poetry, then stories. Creative Writing classes were my favorite time in school!
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
As a woman who didn't know she'd be a writer five years ago, having never obtained any fine arts degree, no training or resources, this journey to being widely published is the most thrilling experience.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
Sometimes I do. It helps to soothe the mind and increase focus.
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Issue Spring '23