Bodies in Motion by Mary Anne Mohanraj + Author Interview [in The Bloomsbury Review]
Over the past eight years, Mary Ann Mohanraj has published 10 books, establishing herself as a master – or should that be mistress? – of erotica. With titles like Wet: More Aqua Erotica and covers not suitable for G-rated publications, Mohanraj is anything but shy when it comes to sexuality. “I’m …something of a sexuality activist,” she says. “I believe strongly that we need to bring healthy sexuality out of the closet and into mainstream discussion” – which explains Mohanraj’s recent move toward the so-called mainstream audience.
What began as her doctoral dissertation – yes, that’s Dr. Mohanraj! – debuted this midsummer as Bodies in Motion. Told through deftly interwoven short stories, Bodies is an engrossing tale of two Sri Lankan families and their American descendants. Her next book – her first novel – The Arrangement, takes three characters from Bodies, so the story continues. Too bad we impatient sort have to wait until next year to find out more.
Born in Sri Lanka and brought up in a small Polish Catholic town in Connecticut, where she was the only South Asian in her school until her younger sisters came along, Mohanraj was for awhile fluent in Polish (she can still count to 100). She went to the tony Miss Porter’s School, once considered the finishing school for fine young ladies. “It isn’t as much of a finishing school as it used to be; the emphasis is very much on academics these days,” she says. She adds with ironic humor, “My parents regret sending me there, though – they didn’t realize how much of an emphasis Porter’s places on teaching its girls independent thought, which caused them some trouble later on.” … [click here for more]