Sex in The Girl in the Road.


Photo: The winners of India SuperQueen. Credit: The Asian Age.


There’s a lot of sex in The Girl in the Road. I love to write about sex—the acts themselves, genders and orientations, sexuality as performance, and a healthier, safer, and more sex-positive future. So I was delighted when Christina Tesoro asked me a LOT about all of the above for my interview with The Rumpus. Go check it out!


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Public boxing.


After my Wired op-edAll Things Considered got in touch, and I went into the beautiful WUNC studios in Durham to talk to Arun Rath. The resulting segment aired yesterday, short and sweet!—check it out here.


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Radical empathy.


After winning the Tiptree Award, I had an awesome long talk on the phone with journalist Lydia Kiesling about radical empathy and other matters, which turned into a profile in The Guardian. I me so tickle. Go check it out!


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A tale of two genres.


I wrote a piece for Wired about this year’s Hugo Awards craziness. My conclusions are not what you might think. Go check it out.


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What is due Caesar.


It’s awkward to do taxes. The tax system is built on the assumption that work and life are separate things. But for me—and for artists, in general—travel for pleasure is the same as travel for business. Coffee with a friend is also a meeting with a collaborator. My new grown-up bed is also office furniture. There’s no part of my life that’s not also a part of my work.

I’m not cheating. I’m actually being 100% honest. But some part of me still feels like I’m cheating.

I wonder if the folks on Wall Street ever feel that way.


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The press release says: “[The Girl in the Road] is a painful, challenging,  glorious novel about murder, quests, self-delusion, and a stunning science fictional big idea: What would it be like to walk—walk—-the length of a few-meter-wide wave generator stretching across the open sea from India to Africa, with only what you can carry on your back? The novel tackles with profound compassion and insight relationships between gender and culture, and gender and violence. It provides us, in the end, with a nuanced portrait of violence against women, in a variety of forms, and violence perpetrated by women. Through the eyes of two narrators linked by a single act of violence, the reader is brought to confront shifting ideas of gender, class, and human agency and dignity.”


James Tiptree was the pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon, a science fiction writer prolific throughout the 60s and 70s. When “he” died, the revelation that Tiptree was actually a woman was met with widespread disbelief. Especially from the male writers who’d asserted that Tiptree couldn’t possibly be a woman, as the works were too “masculine” to be written by a woman, and/or, ya know, too good.

Como decimos ahora: fuck that.

Since 1991, the James Tiptree Jr. Award has been given annually for a work that expands understanding of gender and sexuality. This year, the Motherboard of WisCon has awarded it to me for The Girl in the Road and to Jo Walton for My Real Children

It means at least three things:

(1) I get to travel to Madison for the 2015 WisCon, which will be my first-ever convention.

(2) I will get to see many people I love, including Stan Robinson, who’s the Guest of Honor, and meet many more who I’ve only ever known online.



Catherynne Valente crowned as the Tiptree Winner in 2007. Photo by Dmitri Zagidulin. 


Geoff Ryman crowned as the Tiptree Winner in 2006. Photo by Liz Henry.


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My magic star dream wish list.

I have some exciting news about The Girl in the RoadNO, it is not a movie option. Yet. (I’ve stated publicly I won’t sell rights without clauses for race-appropriate casting, so that alone is a big deterrent to most would-be producers. And you know what? It’s meant to be. I wouldn’t trust those producers with my story.)

In the meantime, we can dream, right? Tell me in the comments who you would cast! I’m actually at a loss for several of the characters, including Meena. Sarita Choudhury from Mississippi Masala is damn near exactly what I had in mind (even the character’s name is Meena!), but now she’s twenty years older, alas.


For Mariama, there’s no question: Lupita Nyong’o. Absurdly talented and also eerily close to the picture of Mariama I always had in my mind.


Gabriel Ramachandran would be played by Suraj Sharma, who was so amazing in Life of Pi.

Premiere Of Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" - Red Carpet

Young Mariama would be played by Quvenzhané Wallis. She made me cry multiple times in Beasts of the Southern Wild.


Yemaya would be played by Aïssa Maïga, a Senegalese-French actress.


Mohini would be played by the luminous Priyanka Chopra.


Arjuna the lover would be played by the gorgeous (and aptly-named) Arjun Kapoor.


Lucia, the cute lifeguard, would be played by Mindy Kaling.


Rana, the rebellious fisher boy, would be played by Dev Patel.


As for Muthashan and Muthashi, Francis and Mohammed…I’m drawing a blank so far. Actually, I’d love a comedian to play Francis. Suggestions welcome!


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