Karma and Other Stories was the winner of the 2008 PEN New England / L.L. Winship prize for fiction. Stories from that collection were published in Best American Short Stories, broadcast on National Public Radio, performed at New York City’s Symphony Space, received honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize, and chosen for the Boston Book Festival’s “One City, One Story” community read.
Rishi’s debut novel, Passage West, is a L.A. Times “Best California Book of 2020” and was a finalist for the New England Independent Booksellers Association’s New England Book Award in fiction. It was recommended by The Bustle, Book Riot, Ms. Magazine, Teen Vogue, and The Millions. A sweeping saga set in rural California at the onset of World War I, it relates the story of a Punjabi family, their Mexican in-laws, and their Japanese neighbors during an era of tightening immigration laws.
Rishi was born in Hyderabad, India, and lived in Great Britain and several regions of the United States before attending Swarthmore College and Northeastern University School of Law. She has worked as an environmental lawyer for state and federal government for more than twenty-five years and served on the boards of Grub Street, Boston’s creative writing center, and SAALT, a national nonpartisan organization that represents the South Asian-American community. She has also served as the Massachusetts legislative liaison for Amnesty International USA. Her essays and translations have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Asian American Literary Review, and the Partisan Review and she has received grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the U.S. Department of State, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She lives in Cambridge, MA.