CCA Faculty Member Shanthi Sekaran is one of KQED's Women to Watch

Photo of Shathi SekaranShanthi Sekaran

Born and raised in Sacramento to parents who immigrated from India as medical professionals in the 1960s, Shanthi Sekaran finds that her background continually informs her work. Her first novel, The Prayer Room, (MacAdam/Cage; 2009) is the story of Viji, a young Indian woman who marries an American man, moves to Sacramento, gives birth to triplets, and navigates culture clashes as an immigrant in 1974 America.

Sekaran’s second novel, Lucky Boy (Penguin Random House; 2017), opens with Soli, an undocumented immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, who finds work as a housekeeper in Berkeley. After giving birth to a son, Ignacio, Soli’s life goes terribly awry when she’s placed in immigrant detention and sent out of California. Her baby is put in the care of two thirty-something Indian-American professionals, Kavya and Rishi. From there, the novel delves into complicated and harrowing stories of motherhood, and explores how the bonds of love develop and forever alter families, biological and otherwise.

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