Mimi Mondal, a 30-year-old writer and editor from Kolkata, has recently been nominated for the prestigious Hugo Awards 2018. The award is given to writers for their work in science fiction. Previous Hugo nominees include names like Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Neil Gaiman.
Mondal has received this nomination for co-editing her first science fiction book, ‘Luminescent Threads’. An alumna of Jadavpur University, she currently resides in New York. She was also the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholar at a science fiction writing workshop in 2015.
Inspired to write in her teens
Mondal was drawn towards writing in her schooling years. “Then I discovered Marquez and Rushdie and Kolkata writer Samit Basu. These completely blew open my mind,” she said as reported in The TOI.
“I come from a background which made every success in life feel like a little ‘whoop’ to me because nobody in my family had done anything like that. I felt like that when I got into the English department of Jadavpur University in 2007,” – Mimi Mondal
Learnt English from a dictionary
The writer confessed that she taught herself English from a dictionary. “I am not an outlier genius. I am completely homegrown and following the path of my elders. Growing up in Kolkata, I read very little purely generic science fiction. And honestly, I taught myself English from a dictionary, so I didn’t see people like myself in the worlds written by white, male writers,” Mondal told The TOI.
She attributes her love for literature to her Bengali roots. “What I did grow up reading, and this is where we Bengalis have an advantage, was a lot of Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumdar, Satyajit Ray, … I read them all,” Mondal said.
Her science fiction book incorporates the spirit of diversity. Since the beginning, the writer has been sensitive towards writing from different perspectives and talking about diverse people in her written and editorial works.
Being a Dalit, Mondal has made sure through her writings that the Western culture is introduced to the subject. She has started to proudly present herself as a Dalit in all her bios, without any inhibitions or hesitation. “I didn’t write from a Dalit sensibility until a few months ago. I am still teaching myself the process.”
The author asserted: “I represent my community by declaring I am Dalit in my author bios and everywhere else.”
SheThePeople.TV congratulates Mimi Mondal for her feat!
Nimisha Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV