HTW Author Hub: Interview with Tanushree Baidya

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.

This quote made quite an impression on me and in a way every life decision I have made has been around this thought. The society and environment that I grew up in made it a bit difficult to exclusively pursue my interest in writing when I was younger.

I was born in India in 1984. My father was in the Army so my family moved around a lot. I grew up among different religions, cultures, languages and ethnicities. The differences were mind boggling at times. But living in this heterogeneous environment made me realize the universality of human emotions, aspirations, fears, tribulations and hope. All my stories stem from this understanding. I graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science Engineering and worked as a Quality Engineer in Information Technology for couple of years. I then worked in an advertising firm and a business consulting startup before moving to Boston four years ago for my MBA. I live in Boston now and work in Healthcare as a project manager. It has taken me years but I am finally in control of my life.
Writing is my true passion and my one true vocation that I have aspirations for. My stories have been featured in London based literary journals like the Wrong Quarterly and the London Journal of Fiction.
My favourite female characters in literature: Kira Argounova from Ayn Rand’s We the Living. Durga from Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s, Pather Panchali ( Song of the Road). Rose from Alice Munro’s Beggar Maid.
Writers I admire: The list is long. But when I am writing I love reading and re-reading Jhumpa Lahiri, Virginia Woolf, Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant.
Some of my other favorite writers are Albert Camus (especially, The Stranger), Haruki Murakami, Oscar Wilde, JD Salinger, Italy Calvino, Leo Tolstoy and JK Rowling,
Why I entered the competition? The description said: ‘We are looking for stories that give a voice to the inner lives of women.’ That’s what I like to write about so thought why not give it a shot.
About my writing style, genre: Yet another quote from Virginia Woolf’s essay’s Room of One’s own summarizes my writing style pretty well – ‘Her books will be deformed and twisted. She will write in rage where she should write calmly. She will write foolishly where she should write wisely. She will write of herself where she should write her characters. She is at war with her lot.’ Yes, I am obsessed with this essay. I write literary fiction and poetry. My writing generally dwells on themes like poverty porn, existentialism and mediocrity.