Thrity Umrigar

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Thrity Umrigar is an Indian-American journalist, critic, and novelist.


  • Writing was my way to make sense of the world outside and inside my home. Despite the recollections of the adults in my life, I don't think I was a terribly articulate child. Writing was a way to give wings to the inchoate emotions and feelings inside of me.
  • I always share this advice with my writing students: Tell the story of one person so deeply and completely, that in the act of going deep into that one person, something magical happens, and it becomes a universal story.
  • I think I was politicized at age five, once I started noticing the beggars on the streets, and children my age who had to rummage through dumpsters looking for food. But since I grew up in a middle-class milieu where we were always told that "that's just how things are," it never occurred to me that the social order could be changed, much less that I could play a role in changing it. It was only in my teenage years that I understood things about class and inequity and how there was nothing inevitable about it. **On when she became politicized in "AN INTERVIEW WITH THRITY UMRIGAR" in BookSlut (January 2012)
  • We often hear all this rhetoric of “spare the rod and spoil the child,” discipline and punishment, and I just don’t believe in that. In all my years I haven’t come across an adult who, because they got an excess of love as a child, grew up to be a not-so-nice person. In fact, I believe exactly the opposite is true. And this isn’t rocket science, but I think that parents for understandable reasons sometimes forget that…

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