Two years ago today Kamala Puligandla’s debut novel, Zigzags, was released. Kamala Puligandla is a novelist and essayist whose writing centers around the experiences of queer and Black and brown people.
Kamala’s essays are often self-exploratory, while also analyzing the changing world around her. One essay, entitled “The Illusion of Safety”, chronicles the risks the generations before her took, in their careers and in coming to the US, but also in their safety as Japanese and Indian immigrants, which got her to where she is today. Another is called “In Defense of Dyke Style”, which explores Kamala’s own relationship and reckoning with traditionally masculine clothing.
Kamala’s critically acclaimed first novel, Zigzags, is about a young MFA student who returns to her hometown of Chicago for the summer and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Her second novel, You Can Vibe Me On My FemmePhone, released in early 2021, is set in the near-future LA. In it, three friends attempt to better themselves using a phone with a feminist operating system.
In a review of You Can Vibe Me On My FemmePhone, FF2 contributor Hannah Lamb-Vines states, “Vibe Me is definitely intersectional feminist content; the captivating story and fleshly-built world are boldly laced with Kamala’s feminist perspective. The book, with its trippy two tones and big, bold type, could be an artifact — a riso-printed pamphlet, perhaps — from Kamala’s imagined future.”’
the captivating story and fleshly-built world are boldly laced with Kamala’s feminist perspective.
Along with her writing, Kamala is also the Director of Communications and Marketing at the Women’s Center for Creative Work, a progressive organization seeking to redefine what a feminist arts community might look like. She was also the Editor-in-Chief at Autostraddle, a news and entertainment site for and by queer women, femmes and nonbinary people.
With two well-loved novels and the commitment to a more expansive world for the arts, the future is bright for Kamala. We can’t wait to see what’s next for her!
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Read Hannah Lamb-Vines’ review of You Can Vibe Me On My FemmePhone here
Learn more about Kamala and her work here
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured Photo: Kamala Puligandla. Photo Courtesy of Kamala Puligandla.