Featuring V.V. Ganeshananthan

Ganeshananthan. Ganeshananthan-andonandonandonandonandon, as someone once said. But you know what? It’s my name and I like it.

About V.V.

V.V.  Ganeshananthan’s  debut  novel,  Love  Marriage, was long-listed for the Orange Prize and chosen as one of Washington Post Book World’s Best of 2008, as well as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Radcliffe Institute and the American Academy in Berlin, she has been visiting faculty at the University of Michigan and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and presently teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times, among others. She is at work on a second novel, excerpts of which have appeared in Granta, Ploughshares and Best American Nonrequired Reading.

photo credit: Annette Hornischer, courtesy of the American Academy in Berlin.

We had the opportunity to interview author V.V. Ganeshananthan, whose essay “What’s in a Name” appears in All the Women in My Family Sing. This is what we learned…


What inspired you to write your essay for this anthology?

I wrote this essay when I was 19, at the end of my first year of college. I guess I’d been waiting my entire life to write it! Other people’s reactions to my name had taken enough room; it was time for my reactions to take room. The piece has had a powerful afterlife; decades later, people still talk to me about it.

Give an example of women’s roles in today's social justice movement.

I have been especially moved by the examples of women who were my teachers, both in classrooms and beyond.

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading this book?

The diversity of voices and strengths and solidarities among women of color.