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Interview: Shastri Akella

Shastri Akella is the author of The Sea Elephants. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His writing has also appeared in Guernica, The Master's Review, Electric Literature, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and PANK, among others. 

What’s the best book you’ve read in the past six months?

“I am working on a fantasy novel and devouring works of the genre. I am torn between Wolfsong by T. J. Klune and Babel by R. F. Kuang”

What’s your greatest fear?

“Not possessing the wisdom to tell the difference between tenacity and stubbornness.”

What advice would you give to a young writer trying to survive Capitalism? 

“Only one person has to truly believe in the story you're telling. You. Accept feedback that resonates with your vision for the story. But give no one else the power to measure your story's worth.”

What’s the strangest part of your creative process? 

“Crafting the first draft, when the characters forge their own path -- no matter how tightly I plot their movement within the narrative arc.”

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