#DesiCraftChat: Vinod Busjeet on writing a novel with a diverse, ensemble cast of characters

Desi Books Ep 32 w/ Vinod Busjeet Desi Books

(available at Anchor.fm, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Breaker, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Overcast)

Hello and welcome to Episode 32 of Desi Books—news and views about desi literature from the world over. I’m your host, Jenny Bhatt. Thank you for tuning in.

In today’s episode, we have Vinod Busjeet in the #DesiCraftChat segment. He’ll be discussing his debut novel, Silent Winds, Dry Seas.

As I mentioned in the last episode, we’re rolling out some changes based on listener feedback. The audio episodes will now be shorter, more frequent, and focusing on single authors. There will also be more text and audio content on the Desi Books website. To ensure you’re getting all the new desi books and writers updates, please sign up for the free weekly newsletter by going to the website, desibooks.co.



Vinod Busjeet was born in Mauritius, a multiracial island in the Indian Ocean. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, New York University, and Harvard University and spent twenty-nine years in economic development, finance, and diplomacy, holding positions at the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and as a secondary school teacher in Mauritius. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife. This is his first book.

Silent Winds, Dry Seas is an Indo-Mauritian coming-of-age novel. Mostly set in Mauritius, it explores the struggle for independence and success of both the country and a young descendant of Indian indentured laborers, Vishnu Bhushan. It’s a story about identity, place, the legacies of colonialism, tradition, modernity, emigration, and what a family will sacrifice for its children to thrive. As I wrote in my NPR review, in addition to the independence-related politics, the book is also about the everyday politics that play out within and between cultures, communities, classes, families, races, ethnicities, and religions.

In this conversation, Vinod discusses how he came to write the novel, why he switched from memoir to fiction, how he used poetic interludes for dramatic compression, and more.

Recently, I also moderated a book launch with Vinod. The recording is available here. In particular, I appreciated how he emphasized that his story is not the typical one about immigration and alienation but about emigration and what drives many to go to another country. He also talked about his personal writing journey and how he came to writing after a full and busy career in a different field.

And now, here’s Vinod Busjeet discussing his debut novel, Silent Winds, Dry Seas.




You’ve been listening to episode 32 of Desi Books—news and views about desi literature from the world over. I’m your host, Jenny Bhatt. Today’s #DesiCraftChat was with Vinod Busjeet, author of Silent Winds, Dry Seas.

Episode 33 will be up shortly. Follow on Twitter @desibooks, Instagram @desi.books, Facebook @desibooksfb. Tag the accounts if you have requests or suggestions. Email at desibooks@desibooks.co. And please go to the website if you’d like to sign up for the free, weekly newsletter.

Stay healthy, keep reading, and write well.


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