Preetha Swaminathan

The Language of Dreams

Mentor: Dipali Murti

“The Language of Dreams” will be a collection of three to five short stories about Indian women/girls in America as they struggle with and negotiate matters of identity, family, love, companionship, sexuality, and place. Featuring both first and second generation characters, the collection will explore the internal, mental, and experienced lives of fictional Indian women/girls, particularly aiming to unveil how gender and race coincide in/impact the characters’ given experiences. Ultimately, through these stories, I hope to not only deliver a more nuanced understanding of Indianness in America as a woman, but also to normalize the tellings of these stories. In other words, it is my deepest desire that this collection of short stories will unsettle and reframe notions of what it is like to be an Indian woman in America, ultimately presenting characters who are not caricatures of their culture, but simply real people in the world, unique yet familiar.

Read an excerpt from Preetha’s collection of essays The Language of Dreams