Mimi Mondal

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Monidipa 'Mimi' Mondal
Born Monidipa Mondal
Kolkata, India
Citizenship Indian
Education Jadavpur University
University of Stirling
Clarion West Writers Workshop
Rutgers University
Website mimimondal.com

Monidipa “Mimi” Mondal (Bengali: মিমি মন্ডল) is an Indian speculative fiction writer based in New York.[1] She writes in many genres, including science fiction. Mondal is the co-editor of Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, an anthology of letters and essays, which has been nominated for a 2018 Hugo Award,[2][3] the Locus Award,[4] and the William Atheling Jr. Award.[5] She is the first writer from India to have been nominated for any Hugo Award.[3]

Mondal worked as an editor at Penguin India between 2012 and 2013, and as the poetry and reprint editor of Uncanny Magazine between 2017 and 2018.[6] Her work has appeared in such venues as Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, Fireside Magazine, The Book Smugglers, Daily Science Fiction, Kindle Magazine, Muse India, Podcastle, and Scroll.[7] Mondal is also a history and publishing scholar with a special interest in South Asian speculative fiction, and wrote a two-part history of South Asian speculative fiction for Tor.com in 2018.[8][9]

Biography[edit]

Mondal was born and raised in Kolkata, where her father Prakash Kumar Mondal worked as a West Bengal Civil Services (WBCS) officer and her mother Dipali Mondal worked at the State Bank of India. Mondal was given the nickname “Mimi” at birth, “like Bengali children usually are,” she says in a roundtable interview.[10] She started using it in formal publication from 2015. Her previous publications are credited as Monidipa Mondal.

Mondal states in an online essay that her two first languages were Bengali and English.[11] She later learned Hindi, Old English, and small amounts of several other languages.[11]

Education[edit]

Mondal received a B.A. in English in 2010 and an M.A. in English in 2012 from Jadavpur University.[12] She received a Master of Letters (MLitt) in Publishing Studies from University of Stirling, Scotland,[13] in 2015 with a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship,[12] becoming the first Commonwealth Scholar in Publishing Studies as a discipline.

In 2015, Mondal also attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, USA, where she was the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholar.[1] In 2018, she completed her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University,[12] with a manuscript of South Asian fantasy short stories.

Luminescent Threads[edit]

Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler (Twelfth Planet Press, August 2017; ISBN 978-1-922101-42-6) is a collection of works by more than 40 writers, issued in honor of the 70th anniversary of Butler's birth.[3] It is Mondal's first book-length work.[14] The anthology was co-edited by Mondal and Alexandra Pierce.[3] It consists of memoirs written as if addressed to Butler personally, mixed with more scholarly essays.[3] The title is derived from Butler's novel Patternmaster.[15]

Luminescent Threads was nominated for the 2018 Hugo Award in the category of Best Related Work,[14], and the 2018 Locus Award in the Nonfiction category[16]. It was also nominated for a 2018 William J. Atheling Award for Criticism or Review, an Australian Science Fiction Award, being eligible for its Australian editor Pierce and Australian publisher Twelfth Planet Press.[5]

Critical response[edit]

Writing in Locus, Gary K. Wolfe said of the book that: "It’s a lovely tribute, and the fact that it’s also something of a gallimaufry may be what makes it the most appropriate way of documenting Butler’s importance, in both personal and literary terms, to whole generations of writers, and especially to women and writers of color."[15]

Writing in Mithila Review, Alison Akiko McBain said that: "Luminescent Threads is not intended to show the minute details of Ms. Butler’s life to the reader, but rather to show a glimpse of how much she influenced the authors of today and tomorrow with her work." and later in the review wrote: "I enjoyed the breadth of focus in the examination of Ms. Butler and her influence, as the scholarly articles and interview give depth to the background of the letters." [17]

Writing in Breach Eugen Bacon said: "The book is nearly scholarly with its citations, reflexivity and dissertations by writers and academics, where editors Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal pay special attention to the topography of the work with its themed sections and unquestionable impact on readers."[18] Bacon goes on to criticize the editorial content, saying: "The two (!) introductions snatch their own space and impose upon the reader each editor’s reflections rather than allow the text its own voice. A sole, succinct preface would have sufficed..."[18]

Bibliography[edit]

Short fiction[edit]

The Other People series (published anachronistically)[edit]

  • Other People (2016)
  • This Sullied Earth, Our Home (2015)
  • The Trees of My Youth Grew Tall (forthcoming in 2018)
  • His Footsteps, through Darkness and Light (forthcoming in 2019)

Other Stories[edit]

  • So It Was Foretold (2018)
  • Learning to Swim (2017)
  • And the Final Frontier is Heaven (2015)
  • Things to Do after They’re Gone (2015)
  • The Sea Sings at Night (2015)

Anthology[edit]

  • Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler (with Alexandra Pierce, 2017)

Essays[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Varma, Pallavi (9 May 2018). "Meet Mimi Mondal: India's First SFF Writer Nominated For A Hugo". Feminism India. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  2. ^ Xalxo, Jessica (8 April 2018). "To the stars and beyond: A conversation with Hugo Award nominee Mimi Mondal". She the People TV. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Sharma, Swati (22 April 2018). "Hugo Nomination for Indian Writer". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  4. ^ "Australians shortlisted for Locus Awards". Books+Publishing. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "2018 Ditmar Award Winners". Locus. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Uncanny Staff Changes". Locus. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  7. ^ "Mimi Mondal". Uncanny Magazine. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  8. ^ Mondal, Mimi (30 January 2018). "A Short History of South Asian Speculative Fiction: Part I". Tor.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  9. ^ Mondal, Mimi (26 February 2018). "A Short History of South Asian Speculative Fiction: Part II". Tor.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  10. ^ Karki, Isha (11 Apr 2018). "Women of Color in Speculative Fiction: A Round Table Discussion". Mithila Review. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  11. ^ a b Mondal, Mimi (28 October 2017). "On Translating the Stories Yet Unwritten: A Dalit Perspective from India". Words Without Borders. 
  12. ^ a b c Mondal, Monidipa. "Curriculum Vitae". Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  13. ^ "Mimi Mondal". Uncanny. Retrieved 12 May 2018. 
  14. ^ a b "Lawyer Gautam Bhatia, writer Mimi Mondal nominated for 2018 Hugo Award". Scroll. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  15. ^ a b Wolfe, Gary K. (14 January 2018). "Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler edited by Alexandra Pierce & Mimi Mondal". Locus. Retrieved 12 May 2018. 
  16. ^ "2018 Locus Awards Finalists". Locus. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  17. ^ McBain, Alison Akiko. "Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler". Mithila Review: The Journal of international Science Fiction & Fantasy. Pidgin Studios (9). Retrieved 12 May 2018. 
  18. ^ a b Bacon, Eugen (24 April 2018). "Review: Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler". Breach. 

External links[edit]