Ru Freeman

Location Bala Cynwyd, PA
Occupation writer

About Me

I am a female Sri Lankan-American writer. My creative writing, including poetry, fiction and non-fiction, has appeared in on, Crab Orchard Review, Story Quarterly and elsewhere. My political journalism appears in the English language newspapers in Sri Lanka, on and has been carried in Iran where it has also been translated into the Farsi language. I have received four consecutive writerships, from 2006-2008, to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. My first novel, A Disobedient Girl, is forthcoming from Atria/Simon & Schuster in the US and Canada and in seven other countries.

Why do you write?

Writing is my response and antidote to everything and I think that is true for any writer. If you’re having a bad day and your first thought is a bubble bath, then perhaps writing isn’t the right noose with which to hang yourself. But for me, it has always come down to the written word, and in those terms, the political writing that I do is very therapeutic. I care about too many things to be completely absorbed by all of them – so I can write an article about say, Gloria Steinem or Rwanda or even some irksome TV show (not that those are commensurate in terms of importance) and then move on to the next thing that is getting under my skin. It’s a coping mechanism. And what is life but a string of coping, right? So that is what writing a novel or a collection of stories is about I think, for me. It carries on whether or not fortune smiles on me with publication, whether or not I can stop the genocide in Rwanda or have strong opinions about third-wave feminism v. first wave feminism, whatever happens, there is a page, and there I am in front of it and that’s where I want to be. I often imagine terrible things – you know, don’t we all? – horrific things that could happen to my family, to anybody, and alongside I have the words – a description, mine, about these horrible things. They say medical students see people are a collection of muscles and bones and ligaments, and writers see everything as words. What I see everywhere are parts of a story. That perfume, how it smells, this woman who is reading, the cracked nail on an otherwise perfect set of fake nails, those words she is using to speak to me, that loud greeting from the father at the ballet class…..these are all parts of something larger, something that becomes visible when you have the right perspective. I think that’s how I write, waiting for the right perspective.

Any favorite authors? Books?

Rohinton Mistry: A Fine Balance
Barbara Kingsolver: Poisonwood Bible
Vikram Seth: Golden Gate
Toni Morrison: Sula
Wendell Berry: The Memory of Old Jack
Barry Unsworth: Sacred Hunger
Mahmoud Darwish: Unfortunately It Was Paradise

Ru Freeman's Wall

Meg Pokrass – Feb 27, 2010

so glad Ru! I'd be thrilled to come up w/ something anytime you feel the need. Just buzz me - on FB or here. For me this push is daily. I need to be prodded - and when I prod others, I have to do it too. Your writing is astounding.

Meg Pokrass – Feb 27, 2010

Ru - thanks for doing the 14 words exercise. I am blown away by what you came up with.

Meg Pokrass – Nov 26, 2009

Hi! Thank you for your kind words on my story "Them"!

Pradeep Jeganathan – May 19, 2009

hey. wasn't coming here that much -- have returned. nice pic; and hope the book tour goes well. when does it start?

Darryl Price – May 15, 2009

Nice to have you on board the Fictionaut train! Welcome.

Pia Ehrhardt – May 13, 2009

Ru, when you gonna post a story? Jump in the pool!

Pradeep Jeganathan – Jan 25, 2009

just wrote you a long message thing, but it may got eaten up or some thing?

Pradeep Jeganathan – Jan 25, 2009

kohomada? maka honda thanak vaga, ne?

Pradeep Jeganathan – Jan 25, 2009

hey ruwani!

Meakin Armstrong – Jan 09, 2009

Hey! Glad you're here, and thanks for your comments!

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