In an increasingly favorable climate for feminism, UNCW creative writing Professor Sayantani DasGupta’s book “Women Who Misbehave” is the perfect read. DasGupta is an accomplished writer in the department, as she is the author of “Fire Girl: Essays on India, America & the In-Between” as well as “The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood”, as well as many other stories and essays. She will read excerpts from her Book of Rebellions at the Cameron Art Museum this Sunday, April 10, from 1-2:30 p.m., providing an opportunity to appreciate her heartfelt work.
“I’m interested in women who rebel on a daily basis,” DasGupta said. “Rebellions don’t always have to be big movements. They can be unexpected. Nonconforming, such as the decision to marry or not.
This collection of 10 different stories ranges from a young woman revealing secrets at her friend’s wedding anniversary, a woman not knowing if she should stay in her marriage, a daughter trying to impress her father and many more. others.
DasGupta’s experiences with multiple countries have given her a nuanced perspective on this topic. DasGupta grew up in India and has traveled to Italy, Mexico, Bangladesh and Canada. She has now lived in the United States for over a decade. “For a long time before I came to the United States, I had this feeling that everyone was very free,” DasGupta said. “After 15 years here, I see women have similar challenges, sometimes it just seems different. America doesn’t have a female head of state. How many are in senior administration? How many are bank CEOs or pilots These are interesting measures for measuring how far a country has come.
Growing up, DasGupta didn’t see many examples of women fighting for themselves in the media, which sparked the idea for her book. “This is the book I needed when I was 15,” DasGupta said. “I needed to see women with ‘problematic’ behavior. I want more people to rebel a bit. Most sacrificed all sorts of things for their husbands and brothers, their sons, the neighborhood gardener, all to be seen as a good wife. DasGupta wrote this book to break that mold and show different types of women with different stories, changing the narrative of what to expect from fictional women and, therefore, real women.
DasGupta wanted to convey that by taking care of themselves, women can thrive. “There’s great beauty in being selfish,” she said. “If you’re not, then you’re not going to be truly happy or truly who you are. You can make others happy by taking care of yourself. And only then can you share with the world.
Despite the CAM reading taking place this Sunday, “Women Who Misbehave” was released in 2021 during the pandemic. “I was disappointed that there was a pandemic release,” DasGupta said. “A lot of things that you hope for as an author, events, readings now seem surreal because the book came out when it did. ”
However, even with the dismal moment of publication, it has received praise from its readers – look no further than Goodreads – reaching even the farthest corners of the world. “I had an event with a book club in Nepal, and someone was on Zoom from Mount Everest Base Camp. My book reached Mount Everest; I’m ready for life,” said DasGupta .
Having been to CAM several times herself, DasGupta is delighted to read there. She enjoys getting to know those who work there to make art accessible to the public. Although she hasn’t yet decided which of the 10 stories she will read, she thinks she will choose “Miss Josephine”, who “may or may not have been inspired by the witch from ‘Hansel and Gretel'”, a character she finds deeply fascinating. DasGupta said this story was “very fun to write” and is his favorite because it is the only one written in a plural first-person narrative.
Show your support for the Wilmington Museum of Art and Professor DasGupta’s important writing on Women’s Rebellion this Sunday at CAM. His reading will take place from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.