Priyanka Taslim ‘14 had her debut novel published this month by Simon & Schuster. Described as, “Pride and Prejudice reimagined for the 21st century,” The Love Match is a YA novel about a teenage Bangladeshi American girl from New Jersey who finds herself torn between two love interests—one chosen by her mother for his wealth and the other she meets at her summer job.
Taslim says that it was her former creative writing professor, John Hodges, who influenced her to start telling stories about her heritage after he questioned its minimal appearance in her work.
“When I first wrote a story to submit to the class that included Bangladeshi culture, it felt as if something finally clicked into place….I found a renewed connection to my culture,” Taslim explained.
Not only did Montclair State University help her realize the importance of her identity and sharing it with others, the university also helped her with handling critique and using it to construct better narratives.
“My time at Montclair State taught me many things about embracing my creativity and made me a better, braver writer.”
The Montclair Public Library and AAPI Montclair hosted a reading, discussion and book signing with Taslim on January 12 for the launch of The Love Match.
Story by Donaelle Benoit