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Meha Razdan is a British Indian writer from all over the world, based in Los Angeles. In 2020, she graduated with BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford, where she also served as Deputy Editor of the Cherwell Newspaper. She is now studying Copywriting at the Miami Ad School. She is currently Head of Nonfiction for The Teeming Mass, a National Contributing Writer for HerCampus, and a blogger, journalist, and reviewer.
Marketing & Advertising
Heady, smart, and vicious, These Violent Delights strikes every note with precision, layering romance and politics into a roaring 20s Shanghai of both monsters and monstrous imperialism
A graphic I made to promote author Chloe Gong's upcoming debut novel, "These Violent Delights." It received high levels of engagement, particularly on being noticed and shared by both the author and her agent.
Since it's been something of a transformative year for my reading, and also because this is my blog and I do what I want, this won't be a straightforward "Best and Worst Reads." Instead, I want to reflect not just on what I read, but on how I read.
In the last year or so, but specifically the last six months, a genre I've found myself reading more than ever before is romance. Despite my plethora of 'ships', it wasn't a genre I knew much about, but I've taken to it with a vengeance.
Rating: 3 out of 5. After pandemic-related delays, Disney's live action remake of 1998's Mulan hit streaming services, and since I've been anticipating it ever since the initial teaser trailer dropped, I watched it ASAP. I want to be able to open with a pithy summary of my thoughts, but the best I can do is that they are...
As those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram may know, there's nothing I love so much as fairytales. Folklore, legends, myths, fairy stories - all of these are my bread and butter. I did a special paper and a dissertation on them in my final year of University because I couldn't get enough of them.
When I came across the description for Malavika Kannan's debut, The Bookweaver's Daughter, requesting an ARC was a no-brainer for me. Described as a YA fantasy inspired by the mythology of India, it called out to my love of the genre and my constant search for Indian representation in literature.
★★ The thing with marketing a novel as a retelling is that you're inviting comparisons to the source material. In the case of successful retellings, this is a great thing -- books that can get to the heart of their inspiration and reinvent them are bound to delight readers who are fans of the original...
★★★★★ R.F. Kuang had a tall order on her hands when it came to the task of writing the hotly anticipated conclusion to The Poppy War trilogy -- both its predecessors met with rave reviews and drummed up a passionate fanbase; the consensus was already that Kuang's second book, The Dragon Republic blew the already...
Before I start singing her praises, I should establish that if you are someone who does not like the original play [I will not make any remarks about taste here because all opinions are valid blah blah blah] you will still be able to enjoy These Violent Delights.
The upcoming novel by V.E. Schwab tells the story of a girl, Adeline 'Addie' La Rue, who, during her youth in 18th century France, makes a deal with the Devil - she receives eternal life, but with the caveat that no one she meets will ever remember her.
This post contains spoilers for the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the original The Hunger Games trilogy Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I like to think my personality is more than a collection of English student stereotypes, but when it comes to Jane Austen adaptations, I'm not ashamed to say I'm an absolute sucker. To that end, it was only natural that when doing a module on Jane Austen in university last year, I decided to examine...
I won't be the first to tell you that with the COVID-19 pandemic we're living in unprecedented times with many of us living under the kind of massive lifestyle haul we may never have seen before. There's a lot of pressure going round now about how to #hustle and stay on the #grind while we're...
The highlight of my senior year of high school was getting accepted into my dream school - the University of Oxford. I'd had my sights set on the English program at this university for years, and everything I did throughout high school was geared towards getting in.
One of Lara Jean Song Covey's enduring hobbies, the protagonist of the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series, is her penchant for baking. From Jenny Han's bestselling YA trilogy to the Netflix adaptations, we've seen her stir and bake and ice a series of Pinterest-worthy creations.
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"This is not who we are." "This is un-American." "We are better than this." All of these sentiments have dominated the social media of politicians on both sides of the aisle in the wake of yesterday's insurrection in the Capitol.
It's December, the festive season is upon us, and while these are, in many ways, very different holidays than the ones we're used to, one thing is certainly the same - Netflix has, as usual, graced us with a collection of seasonal movies and shows to get us in the holiday spirit like nothing else.
By Meha Razdan Since Peter Morgan's The Crown launched in 2016, with the premise that each season would cover a decade or so of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, the main cast changing every two seasons to keep up with the passage of time, the period of the 80's seemed in many ways to be the one with the most unspoken anticipation behind it.
Between baking sourdough, whipping up dalgona coffee, trying to recreate that iconic Harry Styles cardigan, and falling down any number of TikTok tutorial rabbit holes, one side effect of all the time we spend at home lately has been reconnecting with old hobbies or picking up new ones.
Spooky is a state of mind, and these books will help you capture it!
Happy October! It's time for Fall, Halloween, and yet another opportunity to tackle your Reading Challenge for the year! Here's a list of books - some golden oldies, some brand new releases - that I'm recommending to (pumpkin) spice up your TBR. No, I will not be apologising for that.
These books are bringing old stories back to life.
The beginning of lockdown across the United States was almost six months ago. Time has started to feel unreal, and looking back to March now feels strange. It's jarring to think about how different our vision of the future was back then.
In 2005, the first Twilight novel hit shelves, followed three years later by its cinematic adaptation. In the years since the wildly popular vampire romance franchise first sparkled and brooded its way into our lives, it's experienced a level of cultural hype and conversation to rival that of Harry Potter.
Among my favourite things to read are retellings, young adult (YA) fantasy novels, and Shakespeare plays. So when debut author Chloe Gong announced her upcoming novel, These Violent Delights , was a YA retelling of set in 1920s Shanghai with a fantasy twist, I basically begged, cried, and pleaded my way to an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book as well as the opportunity to interview Gong about her book, Shakespeare's play, and everything in between.
For most of my childhood, all our summer holidays were trips back to India. For two months, my parents, my sister and I would fly out of Dallas or London (wherever we livedat the time) and into New Delhi, to visit the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins we had there.
"I could give a cool academic answer, like, 'fantasy and fabulism is a refracting prism for reality; and the metaphor of opium, something that was such a symbol of weakness in Chinese history, turned into a device of power for Chinese resistance, to me speaks of the potential of fantasy as a genre'.
"Whilst umbrella terms are useful when discussing certain shared experiences, they fail to account for the vast diversity and discrepancy within all non-White people: a group, which, after all, accounts for the majority of the global population.
'Unprecedented', 'uncertain', 'unclear' - all these are adjectives the slew of emails I've received in the past few weeks have used to describe the 'times' that we are living in.
When the largest book retailer in the United States, Barnes & Noble, launched their so-called Diverse Editions initiative in honour of Black History Month, they probably didn't guess that backlash to the move would be so widespread and immediate they would end up shelving the campaign a day later.
With his take on The Personal History of David Copperfield, Armando Iannucci seems to relish the opportunity to draw out the inherent absurdism and nearly soap-operatic drama of Dickens' novels to create a bizarrely funny and riotously entertaining film. To watch David Copperfield is to be made increasingly aware of the novel's origin as a ...
A pivotal scene in Middlemarch, George Eliot's magnum opus and white whale of the average English fresher's reading list, is the blossoming relationship between heroine Dorothea Brooke, and her dead husband's younger, more attractive relative, Will Ladislaw.
The "beauty and the beast" trope has been a recurring motif across every culture's storytelling tradition since time immemorial. The trope reaches its most famous incarnation in 1756 with French writer Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.
"Love is so short, forgetting is so long," This kind of understanding of connection, of push-and-pull and cause and effect, is a quality that permeates the body of Pablo Neruda's poetry. His poems, originally written in his native Spanish, work to convey nebulous ideas through tangible phrases and concepts.
In his novel The Go-Between, L.P. Hartley wrote that "the past is a different country; they do things differently there." It's a statement reflective of the allure and strangeness that comes with a retrospective gaze, reflecting the metamorphic power of time, whether in changing a person from childhood to adulthood, a city from decade to decade, or an ancient civilisation from rise to ruin.
"It took me four years to paint like Rembrandt, but a lifetime to paint like a child." This declaration by Picasso is reflective of a synonymy often bestowed between creative freedom and childishness. Coming from an artist whose genius is now near-universally acknowledged, the philosophy seems a wise one.
Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane opens with an epigraph from Maurice Sendak, the author of Where the Wild Things Are: "I remember my own childhood vividly... I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn't let adults know I knew. It would scare them."
The 2018 Academy Awards approach just as the conversation surrounding diversity in Hollywood is at its loudest. Movements such as "Oscars So White" and "Time's Up" have thrown the spotlight on the problem of Hollywood's lack of representation when it comes to the presence and roles of women and people of colour in the industry, but the question of whether or not any substantive change has occurred remains unanswered.
Meha Razdan on the advantages of informal channels of publishing
I don't think I'm alone in admitting that the day I received my Oxford offer was among the best of my life. It was overwhelming, to realise that the very thing that had been a pipe dream for so long was suddenly my reality.
Dear Singles, Valentine's Day is upon us all, and so is everything that comes with it. You may be the type of person who'll be secure in the knowledge that you're a whole and rounded individual, not defined by your relationship status, or you may be the type of person who'll languish in the fear that you're fundamentally unlovable and doomed to be alone forever.
Chances are, if you're at Oxford, you have at some stage dealt in that most valuable of currencies: 'wokeness'. When your university is constantly scrutinised for issues of access to BME or working class students, it often becomes a natural response from us, the young and revolutionary, to try transform the privilege of our education into a weapon with which to stick it to the man.
Cultural appropriation is defined as elements of a minority culture being co-opted by members of a dominant culture. This misappropriation is mired in an underlying power imbalance, and often implications of a colonial past.
Dear Mister Claus, Most years, I'd be sending you a list of presents, and assurances that I've been well-behaved. Well hold your horses/reindeer, because this isn't most years. This year, I'm a woke Oxonian. This year, I have purpose. This year, I'm done being nice, and this year, I'm putting on the naughty list.