V. V. Ganeshananthan grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and graduated from Harvard College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the M.A. program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture journalism.
She writes short stories, essays, poems, and novels. She is the author of »Love Marriage« (2008), a novel set primarily in Sri Lanka and some of its diaspora communities. The book, which deals in part with Sri Lanka’s long civil war, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and named one of »Washington Post« Book World’s Best of 2008. The narrator, the American daughter of Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants, is summoned to Toronto to help care for her dying uncle, a former member of the militant Tamil Tigers. As his loved ones gather around him to say goodbye, she traces her family’s roots and the conflicts facing them as members of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority – through a series of marriages. As he edges closer to death, she realizes she must decide where she stands. Ganeshananthan is at work on a second novel concerned with Sri Lankan political history, excerpts of which have appeared in »Granta«, »Ploughshares«, and »Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014«.
Her journalism has appeared in »The New York Times«, »The Atlantic Monthly«, »The Washington Post«, and »Columbia Journalism Review«, among others. She is a founding member of Lanka Solidarity, as well as a member of the board of directors of The American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. She previously served on the board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. In 2014, she concluded a five-year stint as the Delbanco Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. In the fall of 2015, she began teaching in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota. In the fall of 2016, she was a visiting assistant professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The United States’ National Endowment for the Arts and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard awarded her fellowships in 2014. 2017 she is in residence at the American Academy in Berlin.