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Home > Author > Cheryl L Snell
 
Cheryl L Snell

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  Cheryl L Snell           

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I am a classical pianist from a family of scientists and visual artists. To view a natural law in the light of different disciplines is an ongoing source of inspiration in my writing.


Background Information

When I married into a Hindu Brahmin family, I began to write seriously as a way to penetrate the protocol of another culture. My novel, Shiva's Arms, explores South Indian life, particularly the stage referred to as samsara.

The term haunted me for awhile— samsara--the sibilance of a word that can connote drowning. I had been reading Indian writers—Lahiri, Desai, Divakaruni-- and was drawn to the stories of immigrant families thrashing in their domestic seas. The plight of characters who straddle two continents, the lives they make here, and the families they leave behind, raised the question: when one belongs to two cultures, which part of a divided self goes, and what stays?

I thought it would be interesting to pit an American believer in individual freedom against a traditional Indian joint-family. People often ask me if I am the main character, Alice. I tell them she has my hair and my fashion sense, but her character is influenced by my fictional universe and the demands it makes on her.

Even a true story is held hostage to memory and interpretation. When fictional truth wins over nostalgia, the story finds its own voice. I am not Alice, but I know her very well.


         

Accomplishments

My books include literary fiction, including two novels, and poetry. Over four hundred of my poems and stories have been published in print and online journals, and I have been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes,a Best of the Net award, and I had work chosen by Dorianne Laux for inclusion in a Sundreaa Best of the Net Anthology. With my sister Janet Snell, I won the Lopside Press chapbook contest for Prisoner's Dilemma, a book of art and poetry inspired by game theory. In addition to our traditionally published books, we have an ongoing series of our collaborations called Scattered Light Library, and we manage a blog also called Scattered Light.

Favorite Links

Scattered Light
a blog of art and poetry by Janet and Cheryl Snell

Amazon Author Page
a list of my books, including four formatted for e-readers

ScatteredLight Channel
poetry vids

Shiva's Arms
My novel has its own blog!




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