October 2012: Fulbright Nehru Senior Research program, 2010 – 11 alumna, Minal Hajratwala has edited ‘Out! Stories from the New Queer India’, the first anthology of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories to be published in India since the decriminalization of homosexuality in 2009. The 30 stories in the book are from all over India and are told by people from a range of castes, socioeconomic status, as well as several language groups. An interview with actor Nandita Das, who played one of the first same-sex female love roles in Indian cinema and stories from many established authors as well as emerging writers are also a part of the book. Hajratwala developed the book by soliciting, selecting and editing stories for the publishers, Queer Ink, a brand new community based press in India.
As a journalist and writing coach based in San Francisco, Hajratwala has won several awards for her literary works. She spent an academic year in Mumbai during her Fulbright tenure researching a novel, while also writing poems about the unicorns of the ancient Indus Valley.
Minal Hajratwala (left) with her publisher and actor Nandita Das who gave an interview for her book