Monday, October 21, 2013

those who have a stake in the adoption narrative

As I wrote in an earlier post, one of the central ideas of Not Only The Things That Have Happened is the complex and inherently problematic nature of inter-country adoption. That idea has not been explored by most Indian reviewers to the extent I might have liked, but I have been pleased to see several US birth mother and adoptee rights blogs taking a serious looks at the book from that perspective.

Marijane Nguyen, a Taiwanese American adoptee and music therapist, had this to say in her review on her blog, Beyond Two Worlds:
Mridula Koshy’s debut novel, Not Only the Things That Have Happened, is not a tale for the faint-hearted. It is a story that explores the impact of adoption, oppression, loss and identity. Koshy’s prose and storytelling is hauntingly beautiful and speaks directly to the heart. It is not a quick read, but one that invokes thought, and as such, is an important and compelling work... An element of grief seeps heavily into much of the story, as most of the characters experience a great loss. I didn't mind the sadness, quite the opposite. There was an underlying rawness that pulled me deeper into the story and gave it a true sense of realism. (full review is here.)
Marijane followed up by interviewing me. You can read that exchange here

Suz Bednarz, a reunited birth mother and  founder of, a site and support group that provides reunion assistance to those separated by adoption, reviewed the book on her blog, Writing My Wrongs. Here's an excerpt:
I finished reading Mridula Koshy’s book Not Only the Things That Have Happened. I definitely recommend it, particularly for individuals experienced with trans-racial adoption. Koshy’s writing is thick and rich from the very first page. (full review is here.)
Jane Edwards wrote a lengthy review of the book at [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum. Her review also includes an interview. You can read the whole thing here.

This is the most nervous I've been in reading reviews of this book. I can't say how good it feels to be read seriously by those who I read as I was researching this book--the people who have a stake in this issue. Writing, like politics, is a fundamentally collective project. Developing new narratives for inter-country adoption is a task many, many people have been working on for a long time. I'm glad to see my book is contributing to that work.

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