In his new book Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race, Ruthnum argues that too much writing about South Asia, and too much thinking about people of the Indian diaspora, tends to use curry as a simple cliché for a complicated range of scents and tastes and identities. For this episode of the Gravy podcast he applies that same notion to writing and thinking about the South, an equally complicated place often rendered in the language of moonlight and magnolias.

Naben Ruthnum is a writer living in Toronto. His smart and eminently readable book, Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race, was first published in 2017.  When he isn’t musing about identity and authenticity, Ruthnum writes crime novels under the pseudonym Nathan Ripley.  Finds You in the Dark is the title of his newly released Ripley book.

This Gravy episode is adapted from a lecture Ruthnum gave at the 2018 Taste of the South event at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. It also appears in Issue 67 of Gravy, SFA’s print journal. Listen to today’s episode here.

Illustration by Ginnie Hsu.