Sonora Jha awarded the Barry Lopez Fellowship at Playa! Read more here.
Finalist for The Hindu Prize for Literature, 2014.
Longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for 2013.
Finalist for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for 2013.
To buy FOREIGN in India, click here.
To buy FOREIGN in the United States, click here.
Praise for Sonora Jha's debut novel, FOREIGN
"Sonora Jha’s riveting and ambitious debut novel Foreign dazzles with its sweeping international perspective, but it’s the novel’s heartbreaking and intimate core that is its greatest achievement." Peter Mountford, The Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism
"A heartrending, heartwarming tale of maternal love battling the allure and despair of the suicide fields. A sparkling debut." Madhusree Mukerjee, Churchill's Secret War
"Sonora Jha's heroine is American in India, Indian in America; single and a mother; in love but stubbornly independent; human and female -- in other words, she is always foreign. In its telling of one woman's collision with the desperations of her homeland, this extraordinary debut novel offers the intimacy of the contemporary while sustaining us in a narrative that is sweeping, beautifully written, revelatory, and utterly absorbing." Honor Moore, The Bishop's Daughter
Sonora Jha was born in India, where she had a successful career as a journalist in Mumbai and Bangalore before moving to Singapore and then the United States to earn a Ph.D. in Political Communication. She is now a professor of Journalism and the Chair of the Department of Communication at Seattle University. Her first novel, Foreign, has sprung from her work as a journalist, an academic, and a creative writer. Sonora lives in Seattle.
The Wolf Who Cried Boy (Novel)
Oliver Harding, a middle-aged English professor struggling to stay relevant, becomes slowly obsessed with a French Muslim boy. Adil Rizvi has come to stay with his young estranged aunt in Seattle until things quiet down in his hometown Toulouse, where he was suspected of being radicalized by a terrorist cell. Oliver, deep in a secret lust for Adil's aunt, the fiercely independent Ruhaba Khan, a law professor who studies the incarceration of Black America, must strive to reconcile his revulsion for the worlds Adil and Ruhaba come from and his fear for the world he believes they may take over. The three unlikely companions are whipped up in a frenzy of events in a politically divided America that lead to an active shooter on an American campus and a terrible realization of all that is irreconcilable in human nature. "The Wolf Who Cried Boy" is an unflinching story that journeys across three continents to uncover loneliness in unexpected places and madness in all of humankind.
This Little Matter of Love (Memoir)
This Little Matter of Love is about raising a feminist son, away from the challenges of my patriarchal past in India but within the recent challenges of race and toxic masculinity in America. The memoir opens with the arrival of my son's acceptance letter into Swarthmore College, when it hits me that the only family member I have in America is leaving my home. As a single mother self-exiled from her country, I am consumed by these questions - What kind of man am I sending into the world? Have I taught him to love? Have I lost him his country in my quest to find myself?
We take a three-week journey together to India to look for traces of love in my broken family (whom my son calls "the Indian version of The Royal Tennenbaums"). The book moves between his growing years in America and mine in India (think "Boyhood" meets "The God of Small Things"). He learns about why I walk easier in America as a woman who grew up with the stigma of female disability with childhood polio in India; I learn how he's always felt like he was "on the outside looking in," yet loved his Indian father and American stepfather with a heart so open that it's asking to be broken. When I leave him at the gates of Swarthmore, a young brown-skinned male in a country rapidly plunging its boys into alienation, I nevertheless see signs that we have, in fact, found our way home to a country of the imagination.
This Little Matter of Love is a mother-son story of finding one’s way back to family. It chronicles our quest as my son and I travel through India in fear of violence and yet find unexpected moments of grace and forgiveness within the folds of three generations. I feel a deepened love for myself as the Indian woman whom I had forgotten to nurture as I set about my experiment with raising a good man in America. I seethe young man my son is growing into, filled with curiosity and passion for the two nations in which he belongs, and I am able to truly forgive myself for the choices I made in leaving my country, leaving its urgent stories that I ought to have told as a journalist, leaving marriages, and growing stronger in solitude. In order to let my child go and to let myself go on, I learn to attend to the grace of the present moment rather than the struggle of the past.