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Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America

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Date and time
Thursday, March 10, 2005

Pooja Makhijani, Patricia Goodwin, Judith Chalmer, and Lisa Drostova read from *Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America*, an anthology of essays by women that explore through a child's lens the sometimes savage, sometimes innocent, and always complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families.

Pooja Makhijani was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Edison, New Jersey. She attended Johns Hopkins University, where she received a degree in biomedical engineering. Pooja also received her Masters in Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. Makhijani's work has appeared in *The New York Times*, *The Village Voice*, *The Newark Star-Ledger*, T*he Indian Express*, *Time Out New York*, *India Today*, *Writing*, *Weekly Reader*, and *Time Out New York Kids* among others. She is the editor of *Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America* (Seal Press, November 2004), an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. She is also the author of *Mama's Saris* (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2007). *Mama's Saris* tells the story of a precocious girl's desire to dress up in her mother's beautiful saris. Pooja is the proud receiver of the 2003 Magazine Award Honor in Nonfiction by The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her essay, "The First Time," in the November/December 2003 issue of *Cicada*. Pooja is also deeply interested in using memoir and storytelling to discuss and deconstruct the idea of race. She has conducted several writing workshops for young adults on this topic. In addition, she teaches writing and children's literature at Western Connecticut State University's new MFA in Professional Writing program. Pooja currently resides in New York City with her husband.
Judith Chalmer is the author of a book of poems, *Out of History's Junk Jar *(Time Being Books, 1995). She is the creator of a dance/narrative with oral histories, *Clearing Customs/Cruzando Fronteras/Preselenje*, on the lives of immigrants in central Vermont (1999), and is author and performer of *Don't Go In There!* a one-woman comedy on racial and ethnic consciousness in central Vermont (2002). She is co-founder of a women's interracial dialog group that has met for 3 years in central Vermont. Her essays have appeared in *Celebrating The Lives of Jewish Women* (Haworth Press, 1997), *Urban Spaghetti*, *RAGU*: online journal of the Adult Degree Program at Vermont College and other journals.