Vangmayi Parakala is a journalist and writer, who has previously worked at the The Hindu and Mint Lounge, reporting on art and literary culture. She holds an MS in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University and an MA in English Literature from the University of Delhi. Her forthcoming work includes a biography of Homai Vyarawalla for children.
Karen Jennings in conversation with Vangmayi Parakala
Karen Jennings’ recent novel, An Island, longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, is a telling allegory of postcolonialism focused on the turbulent history of an unnamed African country. Rooted in loss, political upheaval, history, and identity, the novel creates a complex balance between the tense claustrophobia of the island and the protagonist's compelling backstory. In conversation with Vangmayi Parakala, Jennings discusses the toxic discourse around asylum seekers and explores the unraveling of guilt and fear, friendship and rejection, and the meaning of home.