Interview with Shanthi Sekaran!

I’m really grateful to Penguin Random House International for introducing Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran to me. Without that book, I wouldn’t value life as it is, I wouldn’t see the negative reality of the world — it teaches me a lot, with its thought provoking, expanding issues globally — will widen your perspective of how people live, survive rather, in a new environment. Now, I would like to welcome, Shanthi Sekaran, author of Lucky Boy on my blog!

  1. Lucky Boy, an empowering and eye-opening book, discusses a lot of sensitive subjects that people in third world country usually experience and one of them are being an immigrant to another country. What made you write a story that shows the mindset of a stereotype indigenous people that being an immigrant to another country could make them earn more money?

    This isn’t really a story about making money—it’s more about seeking a more vibrant life, one with more possibilities than Soli has in Popocalco.

  2. There are a lot of things that readers could learn from your book – and of them is morality, there are sex and rape in the novel that shows how the two words can distinguish from each other. So, my question is, how could education and morality affect a person’s way of thinking? Sex has never corresponded with morality, Can you tell us your stance on rape and what do you want to tell to your readers regarding this particular subject?

    Approximately 60% of women crossing the US-Mexico border are raped. This experience came into Soli’s border crossing because most likely that’s what would have happened to her. Rape isn’t about sex; it’s about an abuse of power.

  3. Lucky Boy is a novel that I never thought that I would love. This is provoking and I would love to share with my peers – it even discusses how marriage could work and the struggles of being married to not having a baby. As a mother, what advice could you give to those couples who are starting in their early years, to that couple who couldn’t have their own baby and to those couples who are hesitating on adopting a baby?

    Having children—biologically or through adoption—is the most difficult and rewarding thing you’ll probably ever do. Make your decision carefully. Make sure it’s what you want.

  4. Rishi’s character was like a typical man – loves his wife, take good care of it, do his job, almost perfect as a man. He goes with the flow when his wife decided to adopt a kid. If you are going to give a message to those men who couldn’t have their baby on their own with their wife and they have hesitations whether to accept the kid or not, because, I agree, that it was not your own but by own papers, what message would you give to the man?

    I don’t feel qualified to give this message—I think the decision to adopt or not is a very personal one, to be worked out by every couple individually. It’s natural that two parents might have different speeds and perhaps degrees of attachment to an adopted child. I can only advise patience and empathy.

  5. My interpretation on the beginning of the book that people migrate because they want to earn more money from different industrialized countries. What do you think is the major social factor that the country of origin of the characters or the people in real life should focus on? Is it education? Enhancement of culture? Or for the improvement of the government system?

    Most immigrants in America come from places where their culture is very rich, but an opportunity is very limited, and sometimes they face danger on a regular basis. No one would leave their home, their family, everything they’ve known if they don’t think that their adopted homeland will offer a vastly better situation.

  6. The novel is painful at it is. If you are going to look at everything that happened to Soli, to Kavya and Rishi, they’ve been through a lot of things. What do you think makes a person happy despite on things that happened to them? Despite on their own personal problems, what made them fragile?

    We’re constantly searching for joy in our struggles, large or small. I think it’s important to find humor in hard situations and to allow yourself to feel bad or sad or angry, to not push those feelings away.

  7. Lucky Boy is realistic. I could feel their emotions flowing and their mixed feelings of doubts and hesitations. On the writing process, what do you want your readers to interpret reading your book? Should it be realistically painful? Should it be frustrating? Or there’s a fine line between morality and ethics compared to the gruesome reality of life?

    I think every reader will have a different interpretation of this book. Readers relate to aspects of a novel that reflect their own experiences.

  8. If you are going to describe the story of Lucky Boy in ten words, what are the words? I think I’ll leave this one up to the reader.

  9. Among the characters in the story, which one is the hardest to write? And why do you think so?

    Rishi was definitely hardest to write. It took a long time to figure to figure out what his relationship with his foster son would look like, how or if his love would grow, and what would incite that love.

  10. There’s a lot of life lesson and experience that could gather on the novel and have few personal favorites. How about you, Ms. Sekaran? What is your one favorite quote in your book and why?

    I can’t choose a single favorite line, but the first passage that came to mind was when Vikram Sen was talking to Rishi about the buses in India, how people run for them, hang onto them for dear life, and trust that they’ll be carried by that bus where they need to go. It’s a passage that speaks to risk-taking and trusting others to hold you up, and it’s a passage in which the old world, India, speaks to the new world, Silicon Valley.


1779547See for more reviews, an audio reading, and more…
Shanthi Sekaran was born and raised in California, and now splits her time between Berkeley and London. A graduate of UC Berkeley and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, she was first published in Best New American Voices 2004 (Harcourt). Her novel, The Prayer Room, will be released in February 2009. “

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