‘Women Who Misbehave’ author is coming to Moscow – The Daily Evergreen

BookPeople of Moscow hosts a reading, Q&A with Sayantani DasGupta


“Women Who Misbehave” is a collection of 10 stories about women of all ages committing an act of rebellion.

BookPeople of Moscow hosted a reading and Q&A with author Sayantani DasGupta last night at the Kenworthy Theater, focusing primarily on her latest book “Women Who Misbehave”.

“The book is a collection of 10 stories, and the stories are about women. From a 10-year-old girl to a woman in her 50s and many ages in between; they are all, in one way or another, committing an act of rebellion,” DasGupta said. “These are not rebellions like going to war or participating in a revolution, but a stand against what is expected of them.”

“Women Who Misbehave” was released in March last year. In the book, DasGupta takes a deeper look at women’s lives, peeling back the layers of what it means to be a woman.

“In our daily life, we tend to think of our mothers and grandmothers as mothers and grandmothers; we don’t think about who they were before,” she said. “We’re so used to seeing them in a specific way that we don’t see them, or forget to see them as individuals with a complex web of hopes and dreams at some point. We see them as they appear to us in our lives.

DasGupta said the book has been a work in progress for over 14 years. DasGupta said some of the news took months to write, while others came naturally. She credits her grandmother for the inspiration for her writings on rebellious women.

“My paternal grandmother behaved badly in many ways,” DasGupta said. “My grandmother was someone who had obtained a master’s degree when she had already become a mother. My grandfather took care of the kids while my grandmother went back to college to get her master’s degree, which people didn’t do in the 1960s. She also traveled a lot on her own. She didn’t behave like people expected a woman to behave.

DasGupta has published several books, including “Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between” and “The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood”. Besides being a successful writer, she is also a teacher.

“I teach creative writing at the University of North Carolina, and before that I taught at the University of Idaho. My favorite exercise to give my students is to get outside and listen to the people’s conversations,” she said. “I often listen to people, which I think is the best way to gather inspiration.”

DasGupta grew up in New Delhi and has spent much of her life traveling around the world. However, while traveling, DasGupta noticed that women had certain expectations of how to behave no matter where they were traveling.

“They [women] have these many layers of desires and ambition, but because of circumstances and society, they cannot fully give in to those desires and accomplishments. And so there’s often a distance left between what they imagine or dream their life should be, versus what it’s becoming,” she said.

Lola R. McClure