Tanuja Desai Hidier After a Bombay babyhood and Wilbraham, Mass childhood (home of Friendly’s icecream!), Boston-born author/singer-songwriter Tanuja Desai Hidier moved to NYCwhere she interned at The Paris Review, hostessed at a Tex-Mex restaurant,secretaried for the Whitney Museum’s Film & Video Department, walked a moodysaluki (who once escaped and sent her on a 100mph Central Park chase), co-hosted streaming music program DesiVibe (til the Internet bubble popped),anchored an Indian news show (mispronouncing key headline words), party-promoted, copyedited/wrote for teen mags (“Quiz: Is He Really That Into You?”),sobbed into her pillow, laughed until she fell over, danced like no one was watching(and likely no one was), wrote/directed/festival-ated short film “The Test”, and front-woman’d punk-pop band io, regularly gigging at CBGBs, Mercury Lounge, the ElbowRoom, and Bitter End—i.e, she assiduously avoided writing a novel (trans-Atlantically, too, for a year in Paris).It was only when she moved to London for a couple years (which turned into 17,during which time she birthed daughters with British accents) that the tale ofprotagonist Dimple Lala grew clear. Born Confused, Tanuja’s pioneering debut,considered to be the first South Asian American YA novel, was written largely from aPortobello Road flat overlooking the fruit/veg stalls, Intoxica Records, and a bettingjoint.Tanuja has also made two albums of original songs based on Born Confused andthe award-winning sequel Bombay Blues. She recently wrote the foreword to Untold:Defining Moments of the Uprooted, a nonfiction anthology featuring 31 new Brownwomxn writers. Her piece, Sooji, Sakar, Badam, Ghee, was this August included inPen America’s India At 75 anthology, a historic collection by authors from India/theIndian diaspora reflecting on India’s 75th year of Independence. Motherland, herprose poem in honor of her mother, can be found in Moonglade, in Amjambo Africa.She is now based in Maine, where she serves on the Board of Directors of TheTelling Room. About Parents Parents, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is an award-winning online resource for trustworthy, empathetic, and supportive information and inspiration for your families. We reach 9 million readers a month. Our content is written by experienced journalists, fact checked, and reviewed by our Expert Review Board for accuracy. Learn more about us and our editorial guidelines.