Looking for a way to celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow? We’ve got you covered!
Our next Faculty Author Series event is set for 12 pm on Monday, March 8, where Dr. Rohini Bannerjee and editor Christina Myers will unpack Big: Stories about Life in Plus-Sized Bodies.
Described as “a collection of personal and intimate experiences of plus size women, non-binary and trans people in a society obsessed with thinness,” these short stories invite readers to question- “and ultimately reconsider- our collective and individual obsession with women’s bodies.”
“When I saw the call for it, I kept thinking “they’re not going to accept it’”, says Dr. Rohini Bannerjee, whose short story, “Barbara Streisand or Bust!”, appears in the collection. Dr. Bannerjee describes herself as having always been a “secret writer” despite her initial focus on science; her family has always been influenced by art and culture, including listening to ghazals in Urdu, a form of Persian poetry, and her father would write down couplets or shayaris, reflecting on life and philosophy, and share them with her. Dr. Bannerjee “wrote in her head instead”, noting: “I always found solace in writing”.
As for choosing the title for her short story, Dr. Bannerjee, who dreamt of being an opera singer, loved Streisand as a kid, “I remember taking my mother’s hairbrush and singing like Barbara, a mega superstar who herself struggled with imposter syndrome.”
Dr. Bannerjee describes the collection as a “celebration of body shapes” that brings out into the open the very real “struggle between honouring your body as it is in its present state, and loving and improving your body so it serves you in the best way possible.”
“International women’s day is all about choice: exercising our right to choose how to be the best versions of ourselves. “
Big is available through the SMU Library, or at https://caitlin-press.com/our-books/big/