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Pooja Makhijani

Author of Mama's Saris

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Pooja Makhijani is the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America, an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. She is also the author of Mama's Saris, a picture book.

Her essays and short fiction have been published in a number of children's literary magazines, including Cicada, Kahani, and New Moon. Her bylines have also appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Newark Star-Ledger, The Indian Express, Time Out New York, Time Out New York Kids, NY ARTS Magazine, and India Today among others.

She has taught writing and children's literature at Western Connecticut State University and Middlesex County College. In addition, Pooja has conducted writing workshops and presentations at a number of colleges and universities, schools, libraries, and other educational institutions all over the United States.

Pooja has worked in educational media throughout her career. At Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, she developed curricula and content across media in the United States, India, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. Prior to Sesame Workshop, Pooja was an Associate Editor at Weekly Reader, a classroom news magazine reaching 11 million elementary school children. Pooja has also worked in Children's and Educational Programming at Thirteen/WNET, as well as at HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group USA (formerly Time Warner Book Group).

She maintains a comprehensive online bibliography of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora in children's literature. Pooja speaks widely about the importance of multicultural literature in the classroom and provides educators and librarians an overview of representations of South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora in children’s literature. She was the keynote speaker at the 2009 East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference, the 2008 South Asian Media and Marketing Association Annual Summit, and the 2007 Middlesex County College Liberal Arts Festival.

She holds a B.S. in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Pooja lives in New York City with her husband, an antique typewriter, and too many books. Apart from reading and writing, she loves to dance, listen to Bollywood music, and traipse around the City with her camera.
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