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August Bookshelf


Title: Borderless

Author: Namrata Poddar

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Dia Mittal is an airline call-centre agent in Mumbai searching for a better life. As her search takes her to the United States, Dia’s checkered relationship with the American Dream dialogues with the experiences and perspectives of a global South Asian community across the class spectrum—call-centre agents, travel agents, immigrant maids, fashion designers, blue- and white-collar workers in the hospitality industry, junior and senior artists in Bollywood, hustling single mothers, academics, tourists in the Third World, Afro-Asian refugees displaced by military superpowers, Marwari merchants in the Thar Desert, and trade caravans of the Silk Road, among others.

What connects the novel’s web of border-crossing characters is their quest for belonging and negotiation of power struggles mediated by race, class, gender, nationality, age, or place.

With its fragmented form, staccato rhythm, repetition, and play with language, Namrata Poddar’s Border Less questions and challenges the assumptions of the “mainstream” Western novel.

Namrata Poddar says: “The biggest reason pushing me to write Border Less was my yearning to see the women around me—as Mumbaikars, Marwaris or the post-9/11 urban immigrant—reflected in Anglophone writing by South Asian writers, here in North America or in the subcontinent.”

About the Author

Namrata Poddar writes fiction and nonfiction, serves as Interviews Editor for Kweli, where she curates the series “Race, Power and Storytelling”, and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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