The author gave presentations at Blair as part of her new book tour
On March 10, author and teacher Sayantani Dasgupta gave multiple presentations to students in the media center as part of her tour for her book, Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute. After the presentations in second and fourth period, Dasgutpa met with students in a meet-the-author lunchtime chat.
A major theme throughout the presentation was representation in literature. Dasgupta pointed out works by authors such as Jane Austen where she was unable to picture herself among the overwhelmingly white characters. “I have always loved Jane Austen stories but I never got to see myself represented in them,” Dasgupta said.
Dasgupta’s works represent far more diverse characters in stories ranging from Percy-Jackson-like fantasy stories to more grounded, young adult novels focused on school.
As a result of her desire to create a mythological fantasy novel like Percy Jackson that her children could relate to, she wrote her first story, The Serpent's Secret. Her works Debating Darcy and Rosewood combine elements of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and even Shakespeare’s comedies with a more color-conscious cast of characters.
Dasgupta emphasized the importance of representation for aspiring minority writers and readers. “I think representation is everything,” Dasgupta said. “When you open a book and there's nobody even vaguely like you in those pictures, you get the message ‘this story isn’t for me, maybe all stories aren’t for me.’” Dasgupta explained that adaptations of classic works like Hamilton and Bride and Prejudice were able to tell a unique story while allowing more people to see themselves in classic stories.
At the conclusion of the presentation, two copies of Debating Darcy and Rosewood were raffled to students and bookmarks were distributed.
Dasgupta’s works can be found on her website and book retailers such as Amazon.
Alexander Liu. Hi, I'm Alex (he/him) and I'll be a staff writer for SCO this year. I'm passionate about public policy and international relations. In my free time, I enjoy drawing and watching terrible rom-coms. More »