Tanuja Desai Hidier is an award-winning author/singer-songwriter and innovator of the ‘booktrack’. She is the recipient of the 2015 South Asia Book Award, the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, the London Writers/Waterstones Award, and the APALA Children and YA Honor Award, and her short stories have been included in numerous anthologies.
Her pioneering debut Born Confused — the first South Asian American YA novel — was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and became a landmark work, hailed by Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Paste Magazine as one of the greatest YA novels of all time on lists including such classics as To Kill A Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, Little Women, Harry Potter, and Huckleberry Finn. The novel has been translated into various languages.
Tanuja’s crossover/adult novel/sequel Bombay Blues is recipient of the South Asia Book Award. It launched at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, and the Zee/Jaipur Literature Festival in India (along with her accompanying album) and was deemed “a journey worth making” in a starred Kirkus review, “an immersive blend of introspection, external drama, and lyricism” by Publishers Weekly, “teeming with energy and music…a chronicle of Bombay cool” by The Hindustan Times, and “Chock-a-block with musical references as well as linguistic leaps of faith that only a musician could have pulled off” by The Sunday Guardian (cover story).
When We Were Twins, Tanuja’ album of original songs based on Born Confused, was featured in Wired Magazine and at Creative Artists Agency for being the first-ever “booktrack.” The music video for ode-to-Bombay “Heptanesia”, from Tanuja’s Bombay Blues ‘booktrack’ album Bombay Spleen, was a BuzzPick on rotation at MTV Indies. Track “Seek Me In The Strange” was selected for the soundtrack of feature film Other People’s Children, and “Deep Blue She” for the #VogueEmpower playlist (Vogue India’s social awareness initiative for women).
Tanuja recently produced the Deep Blue She #Mutiny2Unity #MeToo music video/remix/PSA: a grassroots women’s/LGBTQI/human rights and racial/gender equality project featuring 100+ artist/activists, with all artist proceeds to charity. Outlook Magazine calls the project “The ‘We Are The World’ of our times, with a desi edge.” More info on the participants and how to dive in (all artist proceeds to charity) here.