The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of fiction! We’re joined by Vinod Busjeet to discuss his debut novel, Silent Winds, Dry Seas. Vinod will be in conversation with Zach Powers, novelist and Director of Communications at The Writer’s Center.
RSVP below to receive login information (our virtual events are held via Zoom). FREE and open to the public, all times Eastern.
We encourage you to order a copy of the book from your local, independent bookseller or online through Bookshop.org.
Vinod Busjeet was born in Mauritius, a multiracial island in the Indian Ocean. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, New York University, and Harvard University and spent twenty-nine years in economic development, finance, and diplomacy, holding positions at the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and as a secondary school teacher in Mauritius. He lives in Washington DC with his wife. This is his first book.
About Silent Winds, Dry Seas
700 miles from Madagascar in the Indian Ocean lies the tiny country of Mauritius. Told through richly connected episodes, Silent Winds, Dry Seas (Doubleday, August 17, 2021; Fiction) by Vinod Busjeet is a coming of age story in the 1950’s set on this beautiful and small island. At the center is Vishnu Bhushan, a young boy who has a rare opportunity: a chance to win an academic scholarship that could send him abroad, to Europe or even America.
Unlike the other kids on the colonial island, who were sent out on fishing boats in the turbulent Indian Ocean or to work the sugarcane fields, Vishnu gets to focus on his studies to work toward this goal. While deeply connected to his community, Vishnu sees this scholarship as an opportunity to escape the familial turmoil and hard labor that has existed for generations. It’s a luxury that sets him apart from everyone in his family and moves the narrative of emigration forward; focused on the tribulations of leaving rather than the assimilation of arrival.
Busjeet writes with poetry and beauty to create an illuminating portrait of the vibrant island of Mauritius in this intimate debut. Vishnu’s journey is one of resilience and identity with the backdrop of a gorgeous and diverse island, rich in its own history.
Advance Praise for Silent Winds, Dry Seas:
“The beauty of Busjeet’s splendid, often breathtaking book is, like the best stories of journeys to young adulthood, the precious and well-observed and heartbreaking details of day-to-day life.” —Edward P. Jones, best-selling author of The Known World, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
“Amazing. . .Busjeet writes with a great sense of humor and wisdom, evoking wonderful details of bygone life in Mauritius–religious customs, cuisine, culture clash, and comic as well as painful misunderstanding. . .A vivid, poetic, and yes, even rhapsodic tribute to Mauritius.” —Josip Novakovich, 2013 Man Booker International Finalist
“Whether navigating the rigid caste society of Mauritius, where reputation and family honor mean everything, or learning the ropes of American academia and high finance, where money and power rule, Vishnu Bhushan is a picaresque hero worthy of Dickens. Silent Wind, Dry Seas is a complex, honest coming of age story.” —Stewart O’Nan, author of West of Sunset