Writing Irrationality

I seek to capture in words the nature of experience. I’m particularly fascinated by irrationality. What habits and structures allow irrational behaviour? How do we decide what’s rational, what’s goal and what’s distraction? How do we struggle against irrationality? I dream of a world where we prod each other to confront these scary questions. For me, that journey starts in exploring irrationality through fiction and through science.

I love having no hair. Someday if I can quit my job, out comes the razor again.

My Published Work


Unless otherwise noted, stories are literary realism.

  1. [Date unknown] – Short story “The City” in Bamboo Ridge Issue #124 (45th Anniversary Issue)
  2. [2023] – Short story “The Sacrifice” in Rollick
  3. [Dates unknown: short stories “Last Day of Freedom” and “Timeshare” accepted for publication in Bewildering Stories]
  4. [Date unknown] – Microstory “Walking” (300 words) in OJAL

February 2023 – Microstory “Afterwards” in Fairfield Scribes Issue #26:

January 2023 – Short story “Night” in The Chamber Magazine (published in June 2022, but I found out about it only now)

January 2023 – Short story “Night” in The Dalhousie Review’s Summer 2022 Issue (The India Issue)

January 2023 – Microstory “DIY” in Fairfield Scribes Microfiction Issue #25

January 2023 – Short story “The Why and the How” in Mean Pepper Vine
Issue: https://meanpeppervine.com/the-mean-journal-winter-2022-23/
Piece: https://meanpeppervine.com/the-why-and-the-how/

January 2023 – Short stories “Courage Anniversary” and “Re:Birth” in Caustic Frolic.
Flipbook, PDF, or website here and here.

January 2023 – Flash story “The Revolutionaries” in Bewildering Stories” Issue #979:

December 2022 – Short story “Retreat” in Constellations anthology Vol. 12 Uncertainty
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0BQYBTBGG/astheappletur-20?creative=327641&camp=14573&link_code=as1

December 2022 – “Sunday Afternoon” in Scribes Microfiction:

December 2022 – Flash story “Backsides” in Mid-Atlantic Review:

November 2022 – Short essay “Let the Wine Mature” in Writer Shed Press’s Medium edition https://medium.com/the-writer-shed/take-your-time-dde36a179ad1

November 2022 – Microstory “The Doll” in Fairfield Scribes Issue #23:

August 2022 – Short story “Forgive” in The Bombay Lit Mag, Issue #52:

July 2022 – Novelette “To Decide Or Not to Decide” in the Summer 2022 issue of The Courtship of the Winds :
The issue: https://www.thecourtshipofwinds.org/issue-10-2
My story: https://www.thecourtshipofwinds.org/amita-basu

July 2022 – Micro/flash collection *One Day* in Mean Pepper Vine:

June 2022 – Flash story “The Hours,” originally published in Down in the Dirt Vol. 186, republished in The Bookends Review:

Short story “Last Day of Freedom” in Funemployment:

Flash story “Waiting” in The Penn Review:

Microstory “Highway” in Fairfield Scribes Micro:

Short story “The Why & the How” published in Bewildering Srories:
Voted best prose piece of the quarter (First Quarter, 2022)

Flash story “Fish” published by Bandit Fiction:

Flash story “School Trip” in Sledgehammer

Short story “Rush” in The Black Fork Review

Novelette “At Play” at Fairlight Books Short Story Portal / Fairlight Shorts in 2021:

Refeatured as Story of the Week in 2022:

Short story “The Decision” at Rollick Magazine:

Magic realist short story “Courage Anniversary” in The Dillydoun Review Vol. 9:

Flash story “They Told My Friend” in Bandit Fiction: https://banditfiction.com/2021/09/05/they-told-my-friend-by-amita-basu/

Short story “Biding Time” published on uRevolution.

Magic realist short story “Re:Birth” published in Goat’s Milk Magazine.

Humorous speculative novellete “Theory” serialised in four parts in Bewildering Stories:
Part 1 (Issue 911)
Part 2 (Issue 911)
Part 3 (Issue 912)
Part 4 (Issue 912)

Flash story “The One Thing” published in Potato Soup Journal’s *Best Of 2020* collection:
Buy the ebook on Amazon.
Or read the story for free in the magazine here.

Short story “Fault” published in Commuter Lit.

Flash story “Promises” republished in Toyon (Vol. 67). Also published in Spanish & Chinese translation (translations not mine):
Free ebook: https://www.toyonliterarymagazine.org/read.html (“Promises” is on p6)
Free audiobook: https://www.toyonliterarymagazine.org/listen.html (“Promises” starts at 14:47)
Ebook on Amazon

Flash story “The Hours” in Down in the Dirt / Scars Mag (Vol 186 Aug 2021)
(This is an old website; navigating is slightly tricky. Find my name in the alphabetised list of author names in the lefthand panel; click; scroll up to the top; under my name, click on “The Hours.”)
Also part of the “Three Things” issue
And as a print book on Amazon

Flash story “Holiday” republished in Meet Cute Press Issue #2:

Flash play “Trio” published in Blue Pepper:

Flash story “Re:Birth” (magic realism) published in Ligeia Issue #5:

Flash story “Promises” published in Fabula Argentea Issue #31:

Short story “Excuses” (suspense) published in Scarlet Leaf Review:

Short story “Sanctuary” published in Fearsome Critters Millennial Arts Journal. Vol. III.
Buy the book on Amazon:
Or read the flipbook for free (my story is on p92):

Short story “Holiday” (romance) published in The Bookends Review:

Flash story “Fish” published in Kelp Journal:

Flash story “Noon” published in Flash Fiction Magazine:

Flash story “Weary” published in St. Katherine Review:

Miccrostory “The One Thing” published in Mar 2020 at Potato Soup Journal. Read here:

Short story “The Hole” (horror/magic realism) published in Feb 2020 issue of Novel Noctule. Read for free here:
The Featured Writer spotlight:

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

Short story “How To Catch A Bee” (low fantasy) 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):

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:

Short story “The Photograph” in Gasher Journal 2019:

Short story “Vocation” published in The Right-Eyed Deer 2011:

Spring 2011 – two poems “In the Bath” and “When Thisbe Was Dead” in Muse India:

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


Mostly book reviews.

Open Page article: “Saving the World: Individual Action and Systemic Change. Was Captain Planet right?”

Feature article “An Enemy of the People – An Eye-Opening Read During the Pandemic”

COVID-19: Past, Present, Future

Retrospective on Mark Tully’s *No Full Stops in India*

Newspeak and Nationalism: Are we Living in 1984‘s 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:

Film review of Joker (2019):

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):

Retrospective and analysis of Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee:

Why we need to reconceptualise religious festivals for environmental conservation:

Guest Post on Already Pretty on: Style, Sexual Identity, Binaries, and Perfectionism


I’ve published academic and popular writing on gifted education (the area of my Research Assistantship in this area) and behavioural economics (the area of my PhD).

Basu, A., & Srinivasan, N. (2021). A Modified Contingent Valuation Method Shrinks Gain-Loss Asymmetry. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics94, 101747.

“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:

Article in Deccan Herald: Nurturing Talent in Science, Technology, and Maths (STEM):

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?

Article in Deccan Herald: Gifting education without prejudices:

Article in Deccan Herald: Dealing With A Gifted Child:

Article in Deccan Herald: The Gifted Under-Achiever:

Article in Deccan Herald: Empowering Gifted Girls:

Article in Deccan Herald: Enriching Curriculum for Gifted Children:

Article in Deccan Herald: Help Gifted Children Excel

About Me

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

I’m working on a collection of short stories (mostly literary realism, some magic realism) about the lives of women and girls in contemporary India — tentatively titled Grandmas, and Girlies, and Women, Oh, My! and a novel about a beggar in Allahabad.

I’ve a PhD in cognitive science from CBCS, India. I used behavioural economics to study the valuation and discounting of nonmarket goods.

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. Most of my current friends are critique partners, mostly based in the US. Long live email. In 2021 and 2022, I was fortunate enough to connect with a number of interesting, articulate, and generous individuals who have immensely enriched my life and improved my writing. I still have a long way to go, but that’s on me.

Apart from writing, I like reading, running, and listening to classical music. I’ve read mostly older fiction, though I’m venturing now into contemporary and modern fiction. Favourite finds so far: Thomas Mann, Herman Hesse, Richard Powers, Lydia Davis, Deborah Eisenberg, and Peter Cameron. I’m also exploring contemporary music, with which my familiarity heretofore consisted exclusively of Green Day, a handful of heavy metal songs, and my brother’s very old iPod playlist. In December 2022, I was honoured to join the volunteer review reader staff of two magazines that have published several of my pieces: Fairfield Scribes Microfiction and Bewildering Stories.

On this blog I post mostly book reviews, and monthly reviews of my life in literature; occasionally I post interviews with writers about new releases. And I repost stories and articles I’ve published elsewhere.

I’m always looking to make friends with other readers and writers. Drop me a line!


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