Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Shobhan Bantwal | Sex and the Sari

August 1, 2011

Shobhan BantwalTHE FULL MOON BRIDEWhen I first decided to write mainstream women’s fiction with romantic elements, I was plagued by doubts. With romance comes sex. Was I capable of writing convincing love scenes? Would Indian characters wearing saris and kurtis and indulging in carnal pleasures sound realistic to my readers? I realized I would never find out unless I tried to work in a sex scene here and there—lift the sari.

I could envision the scandalized looks on the faces of my conservative family and friends when they discovered that wholesome Hindu men and women were reveling in hot, glorious, mind-numbing sex in my stories. And this notwithstanding the fact that India is probably the only ancient culture that boasts a seventeen hundred year-old textbook on the art of love-making, the Kama Sutra. Erotic sculptures abound in centuries-old Indian temples, too. I wonder when Indian society turned prudish.

Unlike my fellow South Asian authors, who generally write literary fiction, I had never truly enjoyed the slice-of-life type of fiction I was forced to read for my English literature classes in college. Even the rare love scene was a work of lyrical beauty but sadly lacking in sizzle.

I was always a romance reader, in most all of its sub-genres. So at the age of 50, teetering on menopause, I decided to take the plunge and write what I liked—women’s fiction peppered with romance. And so began my adventurous journey to becoming a published author of romantic Indian fiction—a tricky path that very few, if any, Indian writers have chosen to tread.

It has not been an easy journey. I often get denigrated for writing what some fellow South Asians label “trashy” fiction. Nonetheless, I firmly believe there is a large readership that enjoys commercial fiction with romantic elements.

My writing is a colorful potpourri, “Bollywood in a Book,” full of high drama, emotion, romance, and cultural details. I try to entertain as well as educate my readers by introducing them to my Indian culture.

THE FULL MOON BRIDE, my fifth book, explores the fascinating subject of arranged marriage, as a young Indian-American attorney navigates the gulf between desire and tradition.

To learn more about my unique Bollywood in a Book novels, author events, recipes, photographs, short stories, and to contact me, go to my website.

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