Mona is a member of The Whole Kahani (The Complete Story), a collective of British fiction writers of South Asian origin. The group was formed in 2011 to provide a creative perspective that straddles cultures and boundaries. Its aim is to give a new voice to British Asian fiction and increase the visibility of South Asian writers in Britain.
A review of Mona’s work in May We Borrow Your Country:
The writing that follows focuses on a range of characters (male and female) attempting to find their place in the world. Some are immigrants trying to build a life in Britain while others struggle to return ‘home’ to India from UK. In other stories, natives find their own culture alien or battle to reconcile the past with the present. Wanting to fit in or belong, either to a culture or at least another human being, is a shared concern. This is most poignantly demonstrated in This Can Be Mine by Mona Dash when her heroine is touched by a kind gesture of a fellow traveller on the London Underground. She writes:
On the platform, she looks back, wondering if he’s looking at her, but his head is bent, back in his own world. Everyone in their own worlds. Everyone belonging.
Meanwhile, in her poem, Implications, Mona Dash writes of being not between cultures but on a point (“intersectionality”) where they merge. Much like a Venn diagram, she can find uniting commonalities, not divisive differences. Another perceptive tale is Natural Accents, also by Mona Dash, which imagines the outcome of being able to change an accent merely by inserting a chip into the voice box. The experiences of the patient, Renuka, highlight and question the prejudice surrounding accent not just in English but the Indian languages and beyond.
Read more in Asian Review of Books.