Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction Romance Science_Fiction

Born: 1971 in Colombo, Sri Lanka


Illinois Connection

Mohanraj lives in Oak Park.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins) and fourteen other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. She's received a Locus Award, a CFW Breaking Barriers Award, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, and more. Mohanraj is Clinical Associate Professor of fiction and literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago, serves as Executive Director of DesiLit (, and directs the Kriti Festival of Art and Literature ( She founded and served for ten issues as editor-in-chief of Jaggery, a South Asian literary journal ( She serves on the board of her local garden club she loves incorporating garden harvests into her recipes and was recently elected to the Oak Park library board.

Mohanraj was born in Sri Lanka in 1971, and moved to America at the age of 2. When she was young, her family would go back often to visit grandparents and other relatives, until the war intervened. Since peace returned, Mohanraj has started travelling back to Sri Lanka more often for research and pleasure. She's currently working on a video game, Sigiriya, based on 5th century Sri Lanka, in partnership with the company, Rad Magpie, and is developing a food tour and writing retreat to be held on the island.

When she's not cooking, Mohanraj is writing science fiction and superhero stories; recent books include The Stars Change (Sri Lankans in space), and stories for George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards anthology

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