A. Dancer, Activist (ongoing) and work for the American Friends Service Committee in their humanitarian assisatance programs
A. political work and mentoring young people.
A. University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (graduate), Bates College, Maine and The American University, Washington DC, USA and Peradeniya University, Kandy, Sri Lanka (undergraduate), Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia (undergraduate, not-for-credit)
A. the Wainwrights, Lucinda and Dar Williams, U2, Springsteen
A. A River Runs Through It
A. So You Think You Can Dance?
A. Adapt, not compromise. Stand for justice. Keep faith.
A. Take risks, overextend and always dress the part.
A. Having the capacity to love those who should be, and being able to be as deserving of their love. Finding opportunities to use every single one of your talents no matter how impossible the goal or cause.
A. Northern coast of Sri Lanka
A. Barack Obama
A. My brother, Malinda
A. there's a reason why
A. I held on to a grudge for several months against a woman, Kristine Aurbakken, who turned into a great friend and kindred spirit. She died suddenly of cancer and I regret that lost time. I think of her almost daily, imagining what she would have said/done during the political events of our time, what her reaction would be to my book and other writing, etc.
A. Finding a way to honor the country in which I chose to live, as much as I honor the country in which I was born, and knowing that my affirmation of each of these countries did not have to be measured by the same yardstick so long as my intentions stemmed from a place of love and regard.
A. A quick temper.
A. I'm comfortable in any setting and can make a friend even where everybody is in the opposite camp!
A. A fabulous politican with a string of accomplishments in the fields of human rights, the rights of children, cross-cultural understanding, and education with a stack of best-selling books to my credit!
A. Trudi Montag in Ursula Hegi's Stones From The River
A. Sula, in Toni Morrison's Sula.
A. Ernesto "Che" Guevara - "Do you feel that los pobles de la tierra are in better hands today because of the election of Barack Obama to the presidency?"
A. Pundits interpreting cultures that they have never lived in for the world without allowing local voices to speak for their own. I think this peeve also extends to internal sub-cultures (socio-economic, race, immigrant etc.) - and maybe I need to develop a kinder, gentler outlook, but it does drive me bonkers.
A. Reading, Latin/Ballroom dance and Middle Eastern dance.
A. loyalty, sisterhood, intellectual rigor.
A. 'Hallelujah' (Leonard Cohen); 'Kiss Me' (Sixpence None The Richer); 'Forever Young' (Joan Baez); 'Like A Prayer' (Madonna); Malaika (Angelique Kidjo)
A. Rohinton Mistry Toni Morrison Barbara Kingsolver Ann Patchett Wendell Berry Charles Simic Wislawa Szymborska Ursula Hegi Lynn Freed Alice Munro Barry Unsworth Caryl Phillips Joshua Ferris David Sedaris Mahmoud Darwish Yehuda Amichai...the list goes on.
A. Sula (Toni Morrison) A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) Sacred Hunger (Barry Unsworth) Home Gound (Lynn Freed) Stones From The River (Ursula Hegi) The Memory of Old Jack (Wendell Bery)
A. Unfortunately It Was Paradise (Mahmoud Darwish)
A. Finish writing a first novel so you can write a better one; then do it again.
A. I'm waiting to hear!
A. My teacher, Lynn Freed,had given us an in-class assignment to write a paragraph, any paragraph, without thinking about anything specific. I wrote a paragraph about a woman standing in her doorway, her children somewhere off scene, watching her drunken husband make his way home through the mangrove swamps in a coastal town in Sri Lanka. At the end of the paragraph, she thinks about what she plans to do at dawn while he is still asleep. That paragraph turned into the first chapter of the book. It remains, largely untouched, as the first chapter of Biso's story.