Shastri Akella, THE SEA ELEPHANTS
Zibby interviews debut author Shastri Akella about The Sea Elephants, an utterly immersive and spellbinding queer coming-of-age novel set in 1990s India, about a young man who joins a traveling street theater troupe as he tries to outrun the dark secrets of his past. Shastri shares how this novel suddenly became a queer love story (thanks to his professor!) and helped him come out in real life. He also shares his challenges with unsupportive family members and his decision not to return to India, where Hindu conversion therapy is prevalent. Finally, he shares how he got here, from working in tech at Google to MFA, teaching refugee art classes, and publishing this beautiful book.
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