Anuradha Rajurkar is the recipient of the national SCBWI Emerging Voices Award for her contemporary YA novel, AMERICAN BETIYA (Knopf/Penguin Random House, February 2021).
She had just turned twenty-five and was living on the Upper West Side in an apartment owned by the parents of some friend from Oberlin. A pied-a-terre they’d abandoned for full time life in Florida.
Just before my birthday last year, I learned that my debut manuscript, AMERICAN BETIYA, had just won the national Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emerging Voices Award!
Years ago, I set out to write the kind of story I’d wished for as a teen: one that detailed an interracial love in all its beauty and honest complications, one that featured an ambitious Indian American teenager and her first-generation immigrant family…one that would feel fierce and unvarnished. After some tinkering, self-doubt, and false starts, I wrote a short story whose title was simply “Beginnings.”