Born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India; immigrated to the United States, naturalized citizen; married; children: a daughter. Education: Swarthmore College, graduated, 1988; Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1992.
Home—Brookline, MA. Agent—Lippincott Massie McQuilkin, 80 5th Ave., Ste. 1101, New York, NY 10011.
Writer and lawyer. Has worked as an enforcement attorney for state and federal environmental protection agencies, and as a lawyer for the Massachusetts Secretary of Environment. Also serves on the board of directors of South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow.
Pushcart Prize honorable mention, 2004; fellow, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 2007; Individual Artist's Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Karma and Other Stories, Ecco (New York, NY), 2007.
Short story appeared in Best American Short Stories 2005; contributor of short stories to periodicals, including the Harvard Review, Louisville Review and Prairie Schooner. English translations of Telugu short fiction has appeared in Partisan Review.
One of Reddi's stories was recorded for National Public Radio's Selected Shorts program.
A practicing lawyer, Rishi Reddi is also an accomplished short-story writer whose first collection of stories, Karma and Other Stories, was called a "startlingly mature collection" by a contributor to the New Yorker. Many of the seven stories take place in a fictionalized Boston community populated by Telugu Indian immigrants. (Telugu is a language spoken primarily in southern India.) "I wrote about what I'm familiar with and what's important to me: the stories around Indian immigration to this country, what we sacrifice and what we gain as immigrants," Reddi told Jeanne Fredriksen in an interview on the India Currents Web site. The author added: "Why do some people choose to give up everything that is familiar to them—family, home, and community—to travel to another country and culture and start from scratch?" The author's stories often focus on conflict within families, such as the differences between a successful doctor in America and his newly arrived mother from India in the story "Bangles." Others explore the differences between Indian and American or Western culture, such as the story "The Validity of Love," in which two young, hip American women of Indian descent disagree about arranged marriages. "This excellent debut collection is deceptively easy to read," wrote Marta Segal Block in Booklist. A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented: "Reddi's voice is gentle and her eye watchful, and the dilemmas of her often-isolated characters are by no means solely those of the immigrant community."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2007, Marta Segal Block, review of Karma and Other Stories, p. 57.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006, review of Karma and Other Stories, p. 1195.
New Yorker, April 9, 2007, review of Karma and Other Stories, p. 85.
Prairie Schooner, fall, 2002, Rishi P. Reddi, "Karma," short story by author.
Publishers Weekly, December 4, 2006, review of Karma and Other Stories, p. 33.
India Currents,http://www.indiacurrents.com/ (April 5, 2007), Jeanne Fredriksen, "Instant Karma," review of Karma and Other Stories.
Lippincott Massie McQuilkin Literary Agents Web site,http://www.lmqlit.com/ (August 28, 2007), brief profile of author.
Rishi Reddi Home Page,http://www.rishireddi.net (August 28, 2007).
Small Spiral Notebook,http://www.smallspiralnotebook.com/ (August 28, 2007), Cara Setichek, "Cara Seitchek interviews Rishi Reddi, author of Karma and Other Stories."