PORTFOLIO

Writing Irrationality

I seek to capture in words the nature of experience. I’m particularly fascinated by irrationality. What habits and structures cause and maintain irrational behaviour? How does each of us decide what’s rational? What’s goal and what’s distraction? What is the nature of our struggle against irrationality? I dream of a world where we prod each other to confront these scary questions. To define for ourselves what we want — and then to pursue that. For me, that journey starts in exploring irrationality through fiction and through science.


My Published Work

Fiction and Poetry

Flash story “Fish” published in Kelp Journal:
https://www.kelpjournal.com/post/sip-flash-fiction-by-amita-basu

Flash story “Noon” published in Flash Fiction Magazine:
https://flashfictionmagazine.com/blog/2020/05/10/noon/

Flash story “Weary” published in St. Katherine Review:
https://www.stkathreview.org/skr-online/

Miccrostory “The One Thing” published in Mar 2020 at Potato Soup Journal. Read here:
http://potatosoupjournal.com/the-one-thing-by-amita-basu/

Short story “The Hole” published in Feb 2020 issue of Novel Noctule. Read for free here:
https://www.novelnoctule.com/post/the-hole-by-amita-basu
The Featured Writer spotlight:
https://www.novelnoctule.com/post/writers-spotlight-amita-basu


Microstory “Obsession” in Feb 2020 in Entropy Magazine: http://entropy2.com/blogs/100words/2020/02/15/obsession/

Short story “How To Catch A Bee” in Dove Tales Writing for Peace, 2020 edn.: https://writingforpeace.org/winter-2020-dovetales-fiction/
Buy the Dove Tales Writing for Peace Anthology (annual, 2013 on):
https://writingforpeace.org/shop-now/

Microstory “Gulmohar” in Winter 2019 edition of Star 82 Review, Issue 7.4: http://star82review.com/7.4/basu-gulmohar.html
Buy Issue 7.4:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/alisa-golden/star-82-review-74/paperback/product-24341882.html

Short story “The Photograph” in Gasher Journal 2019:
https://www.gasherjournal.com/single-post/2019/11/01/AMITA-BASU

Short story “Vocation” published in The Right-Eyed Deer 2011:
https://therighteyeddeer.weebly.com/uploads/6/2/1/2/6212676/tred_iss_5__e-version.pdf

Three short stories in two 2006 issues of Quirk Magazine: https://sites.google.com/site/superquirk/

Nonfiction

Feature article “An Enemy of the People – An Eye-Opening Read During the Pandemic”
https://www.thecuriousreader.in/features/an-enemy-of-the-people/

COVID-19: Past, Present, Future
https://countercurrents.org/2020/05/covid-19-past-present-future/

Retrospective on Mark Tully’s *No Full Stops in India*
https://qrius.com/mark-tullys-no-full-stops-in-india-exposes-the-decades-long-roots-of-contemporary-indias-social-chasms-systemic-injustices-and-communal-tensions/

Newspeak and Nationalism: Are we Living in 1984‘s Dystopia?
https://www.thecuriousreader.in/features/1984-dystopia/

George Orwell’s essays Presage his Masterpiece 1984:  https://countercurrents.org/2020/01/orwells-essays-presage-his-masterpiece-1984

Black Mirror’s scathing social commentary is a wake-up call for contemporary democracies: https://countercurrents.org/2019/12/black-mirrors-scathing-social-commentary-is-a-wake-up-call-for-contemporary-democracies

Book Review of Richard Dawkins’s The Ancestor’s Tale:
https://countercurrents.org/2019/11/the-ancestors-tale-offers-a-fascinating-journey-back-to-our-roots

Film review of Joker (2019):
https://countercurrents.org/2019/10/joker-raises-quite-many-real-issues-sadly-only-to-skirt-them-on-its-way

A shorter film review (Note: on the MovieQuotesAndMore site, anyone can post anything; but I’d written a second, shorter, better review of Joker, so I wanted it published somewhere):
https://www.moviequotesandmore.com/joker-2019-movie-review-2/

Retrospective and analysis of Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee:
https://countercurrents.org/2019/04/the-third-chimpanzee-a-critical-retrospective-amita-basu

Why we need to reconceptualise religious festivals for environmental conservation:
https://countercurrents.org/2019/03/holi-celebrates-the-triumph-of-good-over-evil-let-us-unite-at-holi-to-slay-the-evil-of-air-pollution

Guest Post on Already Pretty on: Style, Sexual Identity, Binaries, and Perfectionism
https://www.alreadypretty.com/guest-post-amita-basu-on-style-sexual-identity-binaries-and-perfectionism/

Academic

“The Nature and Nurture Debate” in Parent Circle, September 2016: https://www.magzter.com/article/Parenting/Parent-Circle/Giftedness-The-Nature-And-The-Nurture-Debate

A series of ten articles on parenting gifted children:
http://prodigy.net.in/books-article-report

Article in Deccan Herald: Nurturing Talent in Science, Technology, and Maths (STEM):
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/534903/nurturing-their-special-talent.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Gifted children need teachers who set intellectual challenges:
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/313552/gifted-children-need-teachers-set.html https://www.deccanherald.com/content/313552/gifted-children-need-teachers-set.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Can you tell a gifted child apart?
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/284388/can-you-tell-gifted-child.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Gifting education without prejudices:
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/353855/gifting-education-sans-prejudices.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Dealing With A Gifted Child:
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/331182/dealing-too-good-problem-child.html

Article in Deccan Herald: The Gifted Under-Achiever:
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/328231/gifted-underachiever.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Empowering Gifted Girls:
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/342492/empower-gifted-girls.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Enriching Curriculum for Gifted Children:
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/342492/empower-gifted-girls.html

Article in Deccan Herald: Help Gifted Children Excel
http://preendorse3.rssing.com/chan-3378153/all_p70.html

About Me

Does your houseplant need a manicure? Mobile groomer at your service.

I’m working on The Flat, a mystery novel about art, guilt, and ambition; and on a collection of literary short stories about the lives of women and girls in contemporary India — tentatively titled Grandmas, and Girlies, and Women, Oh, My! In these twelve short stories, women engage with colleagues, mentors, and frustrations at work; confront classism, deracination, and barriers of language and culture; wrestle with questions of belonging and giving; begin friendships; reevaluate choices; craft their ideal selves via fantasies; overcome anxiety and eating disorders; and handle betrayal in love.

I’m a PhD candidate in cognitive science at CBCS.

I live in Bangalore, India. The city that was once known for its parks, is now known for its traffic, and is still famous for its easygoing weather and people.

Apart from writing, I like reading, and listening to classical music. I read mostly older fiction, and contemporary popular science. I’m beginning to explore contemporary fiction.

I love running and swimming, and hope to have time to do them properly again some day. Right now, writing fiction and my thesis take up most of my time.

Sometimes I shave my head, because: summers are hot, and getting hotter. A shaved head makes me feel 2-3°C cooler. My collection of scarves furnishes another excuse to add colour to my outfits, and makes my baldness slightly more socially acceptable. I also enjoy fabricating a new story every time a stranger or friend asks me why I shave my head.

On my blog, I post:

(1) Every Sunday: A book review or a roundup of shorter pieces I read that week;
(2) Every Tuesday: A story or article previously published in a magazine or newspaper;
(3) Every Wednesday: An interview with an early-career artist or scientist;
(4) Every Thursday: An article or essay on: cognitive science, conservation psychology, or behavioural economics (my areas of research); the craft of writing, editing, submitting, and getting published; or a book or film review; and
(5) Every Saturday: A guest post by an artist or scientist writing about art, science, life, or work.

The Wednesday Interview and Saturday Guest Post series are via my Artists & Scientists blog.

Get in Touch

Want to exchange views on irrationality? Book recommendations? Want me to write a story or article for a blog or magazine? Get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

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