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D. Devika Bai
D. Devika Bai is a retired school administrator of Malaysian Indian descent. She was born in 1945 in Ipoh, Malaysia, the great-granddaughter of one of the earliest Tanjore Maratha immigrants to British Malaysia. She shares the clan-name of Bhonsle with the Tanjore royals and the characters in her first novel. She grew up in Malaysia, and her stories reflect the diversity of race, culture, and religion in that country. She taught English and Geography in Malaysian schools until her retirement in 2000, at the age of 55. Her short stories and articles have been published in print in Singapore and Malaysia, and online in several North American e-publications.
Her debut novel, Flight of the Swans, was published when she was 59. She is now 60 and working on her second novel.
- Flight of the Swans
Monsoon Books. (2006)
- The Flight of the Swans is a rich and fascinating family saga set in British India and Malaya. Cursed, and with blood on his hands, Captain Ramdas Rao Bhonlse is forced to flee Killa Fort, which has fallen to the British. A strange flight of swans signals his flight from Killa; a flight that will drive Ramdas and his family into further adversity. But great adversity spawns great dreams. Ramdas dreams of ousting the British from his motherland. His sons, the handsome and irascible Nilkanth and the plain and romantic Madhav dream of possessing the same girl, Tara Bai, who is the most beautiful courtesan in the land. And Ramdas’ granddaughter, blind Arundhati, dreams only of seeing one day. Woven into this tapestry is a lone white swan inextricably linked to the ebb and flow of the Bhonsles’ fortunes as they flee across India to Malaya.
- Review by Sasha Seth in the Asian Review of Books.
- Interview with the author online.
- Taking flight into fictionSwanning details. Review by Wendy Gan in Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore.
South Asian Women authors