Also known as Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, though we're eternally grateful to Niven Govinden for the comparison - when a writer you think is amazing thinks a writer you're publishing is also amazing, well, that's pretty amazing. Sangeeta is the author of our first ever book, the surreal, darkly erotic Panty, described by Joanna Walsh as "delightfully subversive". We could barely contain her excitement when she announced she was moving to London, and can't wait to introduce her to you all, with events at the Southbank Centre and Free Word Centre. Whet your appetite with this extract in The White Review, and get those pre-orders in!
When Sangeeta was asked for a bio recently, she wrote this - charming, candid, and incredibly well-written given that English is her second language (her books are translated from Bengali by the legendary Arunava Sinha). "India's Ferrante" introduces herself - though she'd never heard of the Italian.
Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, born in 1974, started writing poetry at the very tender age of twelve or thirteen. But she never rhymed her poems and mostly her subject was love and separation. And though deep inside she always thought of writing novels, characters from her surroundings always appealed to her, haunting her to write something on them, until the age of twenty-six she never realised that all she wanted to do in life was to write. Write her thoughts and announce her beliefs and her imaginations in the form of novels or stories or poetry, or any other form of writing.
At the age of 28 she finished her first novel Sankhini, a huge 800 pages. The novel was an immediate success when it was published in 2004. To date, she has written fifteen novels and over sixty-five short stories, which have been published in the most prestigious and widely-read literary magazines of Bengal. For Panty, her second longer work of fiction, she concentrated on creating a prose style which can be considered poetical. She still believes that she has much to write, but the present scenario, with the audio-visual medium becoming stronger day by day and the power of social media stealing away all the free time from human life---it is a new world altogether for anyone who has taken writing as a full-time profession, and therefore she thinks right now it is necessary to figure out what the nature of her next work should be, how to ensure that it will be relevant enough to get readers back into reading books and help the survival of the written word.
Apart from all this, she moved to London from Kolkata a few months back to stay here permanently with her husband, who is a British citizen. Back in India she has a son aged twenty who is doing his graduation and a dog aged five.
She studied Economics and graduated in 1997. Formerly she had worked as a producer in a Bengali news channel and has been a film critic and feature writer for a famous Bengali newspaper.
She has never had any hobbies. Singing, listening to music, painting a little, reading books, watching movies, travelling, falling in love with nature, and meeting friends are just a way of life, she thinks. So she cannot consider these as hobbies.
She finds that her personality has changed a lot over the last five years. She was an extrovert type of person but is becoming more introverted by the day. She loves red lipstick, high heeled pumps, silk sarees, Darjeeling tea, tulips and lilies. Even in deepest sleep she never dreams anything, which she finds very strange about herself.