The Indian American

toes – about the not-so-model “mixed” Indian-Caucasian family; the Hispanic member of the group; the high-school jock; the girl with depression symptoms. It also tells a gripping tale of fear, folly, smarts, incest, you name it, that teens cope with, suffer, and learn to live with less, in an alien environment where wits and deviousness compete with reason and goodness. While the juxtaposition of good and evil may not sound that different from many novels, Prasad weaves a more nuanced web. Prasad told News India Times she is “mixed” American herself and her two sons do not look Indian though they are exposed to Indian culture and relate to it in many ways. “Identity politics—always interesting, always complicated!” Prasad said. Asked why she chose a “mixed” Indian- Caucasian teen as the narrator, she said it was “because multiracial characters are VERY underrepresented in literature, and especially in young adult literature.” She has also brought out another publica- tion, “Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience.” “It is extremely important for kids to be able to relate to literary characters and to be able to “see themselves” in the books they read,” Prasad told News India Times. The publishing world is making strides to better represent Asians, Native Americans, and African Americans, she noted, “but “mixed” characters are often still shuffled into one of these categories, if they are noted at all.” Prasad feels strongly that this has got to change also because the mixed-race popula- tion is “exploding” in America. She quotes 40 THE INDIAN AMERICAN APRIL-JUNE 2018 Author Chandra Prasad Photo courtesy: author