Literature: First Country of our Mothers & Fathers

Authors discuss their books about their parents and how it influences their writing and their very being.


Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan

Shobhaa Tharoor Srinivasan

Shobha is a author of children’s books, poet, editor, and nationally celebrated voice-over talent. I have also been a non-profit development professional who spent two decades as an advocate and fundraiser for persons with disabilities.

She has published children’s books in India and the United States, including the award-winning Indi-Alphabet (Mango and Marigold), Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma (Westland), It’s Time to Rhyme, (Aleph) and Parvati the Elephant’s Very Important Day (Harper Collins). Her writing has also been anthologized by Tulika Books, Solstice Publishing, and Skipping Stones magazine. My work has been showcased at book fairs and festivals and is part of Indian school curricula. Her essays and reviews have been published in India Currents and My first book for adults, Good Innings (Penguin), is being translated into Malayalam.


Kalpana Mohan

Kalpana Mohan

In 2011, Kalpana Mohan won a first prize-and the attention of an agent-at a competition at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, California, for the best one-minute book pitch; it catalyzed some of her book-length writing projects based on India. Her first book, DADDYKINS: A MEMOIR OF MY FATHER AND I, was published by Bloomsbury India in September 2018. It's a meditation on life, death, love, and loss, and the special bond between fathers and daughters. An essay published in The Hindu talks about the genesis of that book. Read the reviews. Her second book, AN ENGLISH MADE IN INDIA: HOW A FOREIGN LANGUAGE BECAME LOCAL, is a story of the evolution of the English language in India. Published by Aleph Book Company in September 2019, it traces the history of the English language in India. 

In January 2020, her books were featured at the Hyderabad Literary Festival in India. Kalpana is an award-winning columnist for India Currents Magazine. Karnatik Revival won a New America Media prize. Creating Beta Clones and From a Man Village into the Jungle won The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club Greater Bay Area Journalism prizes. Kalpana's writings and commentaries have appeared in NPR, Business Week Online, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle and Better Homes and Gardens. She lives in Saratoga, California.


Raji Pillai

Raji Pillai

 Dr. Raji Pillai is a literature and theater critic for San Francisco Bay Area South Asian news outlets, including India Currents and Indica News. Her writings are at In her parallel life as a scientist, she advises medical device and diagnostics companies in clinical, scientific and regulatory affairs.

Back to blog