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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

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White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

White Dancing Elephants cover high res.jpg
White Dancing Elephants cover high res.jpg

White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar


Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-945814-61-7
Product Not Yet Released
Orders ship in September

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In luminous, vivid, searingly honest prose, the stories in White Dancing Elephants center on the experiences of diverse women of color—cunning, bold, and resolute—facing sexual harassment and racial violence, as well as the violence women inflict upon each other. One woman’s miscarriage is juxtaposed against the story of the Buddha’s birth. Another cheats with her best friend’s husband, only to discover it’s her friend she most yearns for. In three different stories, three artists struggle to push courageous works into the world, while a woman with an incurable disease competes with her engineer husband’s beautiful android.

Combining the speculative elements and wry psychological realism beloved by readers of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Margaret Atwood, Danzy Senna and Sandra Cisneros, this collection introduces Chaya Bhuvaneswar as an original and memorable new voice. White Dancing Elephants is the winner of the 2017 Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize.


“Filled with dark music, nuance, and intelligence, White Dancing Elephants takes readers on a thrilling journey. In sharp takes, Chaya Bhuvaneswar unfolds the complexities of race and gender, tragedy and eros. This unforgettable collection will hold its readers captive to the very last page.”
—Diana Abu-Jabar, author of Life Without a Recipe

“Chaya Bhuvaneswar's deft and poignant stories bring the whole damned world into clearer focus. A pure pleasure to read, White Dancing Elephants is a remarkable book that will stay with me for a long time.”
Skip Horack, author of The Other Joseph


CHAYA BHUVANESWAR is a practicing physician and writer whose work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Awl, jellyfish review, aaduna and elsewhere, with poetry forthcoming in Natural Bridge, Quiddity, apt magazine, Hobart and more. Her poetry and prose juxtapose Hindu epics, other myths and histories, and the survival of sexual harassment and racialized sexual violence by diverse women of color. She received the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and a Henfield award for her writing. Her work received four Pushcart Prize anthology nominations in 2017. Follow her on Twitter at @chayab77 including for upcoming readings and events.