Story Behind the Story

Episode 15: Rishi Reddi - PASSAGE WEST

May 2nd, 2020

Environmental lawyer Rishi Reddi came to prominence as a writer in the early 2000s. Her short fiction has earned her a PEN Award as well as a nomination for the Pushcart Prize, and her story "Justice Shiva Ram Murthy" appeared in the 2005 edition of The Best American Short Stories. It was also featured on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.”

In April 2020, she published her first novel. Passage West explores the lives of Indian-American immigrants in California's Imperial Valley near the turn of the twentieth century. Taking World War I and a series of laws and legal precedents targeting Asian immigrants as its backdrop, the novel explores an enduring question that is still relevant today: Who is welcome in America?

Born in Hyderabad, India before living in the United Kingdom and the United States, Rishi Reddi is an author and environmental lawyer. Her short story collection Karma and Other Stories received the 2008 PEN Award. Reddi lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.