Vijayaraghavan, Vineeta 1972–
Vijayaraghavan, Vineeta 1972–
Born May 27, 1972, in India; daughter of Raji (an information systems specialist) and M.K. (retired) Vijayaraghavan; married Thomas James DeLong (an educator). Education: Harvard University, B.A. (magna cum laude), M.B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Writing plays, growing flowers, and inventing new soups.
Office—Katzenbach Partners, LLC, 381 Park Ave. S, Ste. 501, New York, NY 10016.
Writer. Katzenbach Partners, LLC, New York, NY, consultant.
Motherland: A Novel, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Vineeta Vijayaraghavan was born May 27, 1972, in India, but grew up primarily in the United States. She attended Harvard University, graduating with her undergraduate degree magna cum laude, and then earned a master's degree in business. She works for Katzenbach Partners, LLC, a consulting firm in New York, New York, where she is in charge of projects that cover a broad range of subjects, including financial services, telecommunications, and development on an international level. She is also the author of Motherland: A Novel, which delves deeply into her heritage and her Indian background, as well as into the roots she has forged in the United States.
Motherland, published in 2001, tells the story of Maya, a fifteen-year-old Indian girl living in the United States, whose parents ship her back to India for the summer when they begin to feel that she has become too steeped in American culture. They hope the time away, spent with Maya's mother's family, will allow her to develop an appreciation for her heritage and culture, and that it might also instill in her a more traditional mode of behavior. Maya's parents believe that her American life offers too many temptations, including American boys and beer, both of which she has indulged in, and that only in India will she acquire the values with which they themselves were raised. Maya is, of course, resentful of being banished for her vacation and arrives in India displaying a petulant attitude typical of many teenagers. However, after an accident lands her in bed, Maya finds herself confiding the details of her life to her grandmother, a nurturing woman who cared for Maya when she was small and who has never quite gotten over her own maternal instincts toward the girl. Once Maya is well, her grandmother gives her a gift of a book in which she has chronicled the life Maya described, giving her the chance to see her own experiences with fresh eyes. Vijayaraghavan illustrates the cultural differences between America and India through Maya's eyes, while also showing how much Maya has changed in the eyes of her family in the few years that she has been away in the United States. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "the writing style is more prosaic than lyrical, and the detail robs the prose of liveliness in places, but Maya's voice is consistent and convincing." Danise Hoover, writing for Booklist, stated that "the author's fresh voice is well tuned to both Indian life and the mind of an American teen."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2000, Danise Hoover, review of Motherland: A Novel, p. 622; March 15, 2002, review of Motherland, p. 1229; April 1, 2002, review of Motherland, p. 1316.
Library Journal, December 1, 2000, Jiwaji Zaheera, review of Motherland, p. 193.
Magpies, March 1, 2004, Hilary Adams, review of Motherland, p. 43.
New York Times Book Review, January 14, 2001, Mary Elizabeth Williams, review of Motherland.
Publishers Weekly, November 13, 2000, review of Motherland, p. 84.
School Library Journal, July 1, 2001, Joyce Fay Fletcher, review of Motherland, p. 136.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), April 29, 2001, review of Motherland, p. 7.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August 1, 2001, review of Motherland, p. 208.
Katzenbach Partners Web site,http://www.katzenbach.com/ (June 29, 2008), author profile.
Red Hot Curry,http://asianwomen.co.uk/ (June 29, 2008), Lopa Patel, review of Motherland.
Sawnet,http://www.sawnet.org/ (June 29, 2008), review of Motherland.
Soho Press Web site,http://www.sohopress.com/ (June 29, 2008), author profile.