Thanks to Travis Jonker for hosting the cover reveal of HOME IS IN BETWEEN, my picture book releasing 2.23.21 from Macmillan Children's Books, illustrated by the brilliant Lavanya Naidu. You'll also find out more about the book's premise and Lavanya's thoughtful design. Here's an excerpt of my interview with Travis:
"The space between cultures doesn’t have to be a barrier; for children who grow up there, it can become a threshold of gratitude to celebrate the best of many worlds. I hope readers make themselves at home in Shanti’s story. Her name in Bangla means 'peace.'"

FORWARD ME BACK TO YOU wins South Asia Book Award!

Some good news to fuel my flagging call to write in the midst of tumultuous times: my young adult novel, FORWARD ME BACK TO YOU, published by Macmillan FSG, has won the 2020 South Asia Book Award! Below is a video of me reading the first chapter.

BETWEEN US AND ABUELA wins the 2020 Américas Award!

I'm thrilled to announce that my picture book collaboration with illustrator Sara Palacios, BETWEEN US AND ABUELA, published by Macmillan FSG, has won the 2020 Américas Award! Congratulations to the winners and honorees!


Set up a youtube channel where I plan to upload videos of myself reading the first chapters of my novels. I'm lonely over there, with only a handful of subscribers, so come and join me!

Rickshaw Girl: Official Movie Website

What's happening to the release of the Rickshaw Girl Movie during this chaotic time in the world? I have no idea. For now, I content myself by visiting the film's website every now and then to check. Feel free to do the same—and sign up to be on the email list if you want to get updates.

While she paints, Naima dreams about how to help her family.

Maundy Thursday: A Poem

MAUNDY THURSDAY by Mitali Perkins
At the end,
Baba didn't want his hands held.
Not by us, anyway.
They clawed in ceaseless search,
Fingers wide, then bent, raking in rhythm with the rattle.
But his feet?
They kicked off the blankets and waited.
Tired skin, chapped with thirst.
It took two washcloths—
The first, wet with warm water.
The second, dry and clean.
Oil came next. Was it olive?
None of us remember now.
We eased it into ancient lines.
His anklebones gleamed with it.

Soon, his palms turned up,
Came down to the sheet,
Rested there like lotus flowers.

Painting is oil on canvas, part of the series on John’s Gospel, published by Art India as "And the Word was made Flesh," in the collection of Sneha Sadan, Pune.

A Delightful National Book Festival!

I was honored to participate in the Library of Congress' National Book Festival. Author Misa Sugiura and I were interviewed by Lee Ann Potter on the teen stage, followed by a signing. Below are a few photos along with my answer to a question from a teen in the audience about surviving growing up between cultures. Thanks to Macmillan for sending me and to the Library of Congress for inviting me.

The day started with a Jesse Dittmar photo shoot hosted by Lily News of the Washington Post.
“Suffrage” has roots meaning “prayers or pleas on behalf of another.” I couldn’t help putting grateful hands on the shoulders of steadfast suffragettes who labored for us. May we persist in labora et ora for future unknown beneficiaries.
Misa and I were both a little nervous, but ready for fun.
Lee Ann Potter, Director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress, asked wonderful questions.
One of my favorite moments came after our panel, when a participant said shyly, “I’m Bengali-American, too. Thank you for sharing about the hyphenated life.” And look at ⁦Misa's lovely body language as she greets a teen who came up front to ask her a question. 
Here’s how I answered a teen who described her struggle with growing up between cultures.
A signing line of friends, old and new.

Rickshaw Girl: Movie Update

Friends, it looks like Rickshaw Girl the Movie is in post-production! The filmmakers are hoping for a May 2020 release, but I'll keep you posted. I'm swooning over the new poster they just created.

Mitali talks (and talks) about Global Books, Code-Switching, Vocation, Craft, Literary Villages, and Mom

I've had a busy few months on the road, speaking at schools, libraries, conferences, and bookstores. Honestly, I've been talking so much that I'm sick of the sound of my own voice. This month, I'm taking some time to be silent in my introvert's cave. Thank goodness, some of you might say. Others of you, however, hopefully aren't tired of listening to me. If that's the case, here are some links to places and events to track my conversations.

While I taught in schools in real life, I also visited two groups of people virtually to chat about global literature: educators interested in the South Asia Book Award and high-schoolers in Belleville, Illinois. The videos are posted below. 

I also stopped by the amazing Jen Fulwiler's radio show to talk about craft, vocation, and when to give up on a dream deferred. My interview begins at 35:33.

Over at Kirkus, Alex Heimbach interviewed me about crossing borders in life and fiction and I visited Campolindo High School to celebrate women writers. Erin Murphy of Penguin Random House Audio asked about my enjoyment of audio books, my own booking agency asked a few questions about the writing life, and the Mendocino Writer's Conference wanted me to talk about empowering young readers with fiction.

Fuller Seminary's President Mark Labberton and I enjoyed a lively conversation, covering a myriad of topics including faith, why children make a better audience than adults, and writing about justice and peacemaking.

While on tour for FORWARD ME BACK TO YOU, I stopped by Austin's Book People bookstore to meet with members of the Anti-Defamation League and local educators. Bookseller Meghan Dietsche Goel summed up our time together in a nice Publisher's Weekly post, "Building a Literary Village." Yes, tears are my superpower and there's nothing I can do about it.

For now, back I go into the hermitage. See you on the road again soon.

For information about in-person or virtual visits, contact the Booking Biz.


My eleventh book makes it to the finish line, thanks to the wisdom, creativity, and collaboration of my editor Grace Kendall, my agent Laura Rennert, and the amazing team of support at Macmillan Books. Friends, I'm humbled by your belief in my work. Thanks, too, for the serendipity/grace of scheduling Forward Me Back to You's release on my beloved Daddy's birthday. I dedicate it to him with a kiss to eternity.

my girl and I toast on release day

Less Than Two Weeks Till Publication!

The marketing team at Macmillan sent some photos today as we're less than two weeks away from April 2, the publication date of Forward Me Back to You and the paperback release of You Bring the Distant Near. Also, that's my beloved Daddy's birthday, a lovely serendipity since I didn't pick the release date and I miss him every day. Anyway, the photos are gorgeous.