Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer, artist, and an Emmy-nominated and multiple Webby-winning producer with more than twenty-five years of experience in the arts & social justice.

Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer, artist, and an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer with more than twenty years of experience in the arts and social justice.


I am now on Twitter and Instagram. Please follow @TanyaAuthor. 

In writing news: My book Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence (Henry Holt; pub date April 7, 2020) is available for pre-order: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250214232. Please see advance praise in Kirkus Reviews, Bitch Media, and a piece by Virginia Heffernan in the Los Angeles Times.

Marin Cogan did a profile of me for the Washington Post Magazine. I wrote Kindness and Clarity for McSweeney’s. On January 22, I did a reading of this piece at a night hosted by McSweeney’s at Housing Works Bookstore in NYC. And I wrote about the Exonerated Five and Ava DuVernay's powerful series WHEN THEY SEE US for Glamour. Also, in connection with my first book The Big Lie, I've been cited in many recent articles, including by Ruth La Ferla in the New York Times; Elizabeth Chuck in NBC News; and Kaitlyn Tiffany in the Verge

In producing news: I executive produced and directed Glamour Women of the Year videos. The ceremony took place on November 11 at Lincoln Center. You can read the announcement here: https://www.glamour.com/story/women-of-the-year-2019-honorees. The honorees were Margaret Atwood, Tory Burch, Ava DuVernay, the women of RAICES (Lucia Allain, Erika Andiola, Mayra Jimenez, and Andrea Meza), Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Charlize Theron, and Greta Thunberg. Please click on a name to view the video. You can also check out 2018 videos that I made with Lucy Walker about Viola Davis, Betty Reid Soskin, Chrissy Teigen, Manal al-Sharif, and Kamala Harris, as well as the intro video for the event.

I completed a documentary by Catherine Gund about her mother, the renowned art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund. Aggie sold a $165 million Lichtenstein painting to start the Art for Justice Fund to fight mass incarceration. AGGIE the movie had its world premiere at Sundance 2020: https://www.sundance.org/projects/aggie. It will play at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA, on February 11: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/los-angeles-premiere-of-aggie-the-film-tickets-88026275961, and at MoMA as part of Doc Fortnight on February 18: https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/6405

I was a producer for the first-ever convening of The Vision & Justice Project founded by Professor Sarah Lewis. From April 25 to 26, 2019 at Harvard University, the Project brought together leading voices in criminal justice reform and the arts, including Bryan Stevenson, Elizabeth Alexander, David Adjaye, Wynton Marsalis, Ava DuVernay, Agnes Gund, Darren Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, Deborah Willis, Theaster Gates, Alexandra Bell, Jelani Cobb, Naomi Wadler, Yara Shahidi, Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean, Carrie Mae Weems, and many more.

The UNSTOPPABLE campaign I produced for Planned Parenthood won a 2019 Webby Award. It was also given an honorable mention in Fast Company's annual Innovation by Design Awards, and was selected by the Brand Film Festival, a celebration of the marketing industry’s finest achievements in cinematic storytelling.

In public speaking news: On Sunday, November 10, 2019, I was at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit in conversation with Megan Twohey, Carrie Goldberg, and moderator Zain Asher (CNN). Please read about the panel here: https://www.glamour.com/story/me-too-two-years-laterThe Summit lineup was stellar with E. Jean Carroll, Ilana Glazer, Jameela Jamil, Judith Light, and many more: https://glamourwoty.com/the-summit/

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, I did a reading/performance at the Deep Water Literary Fest in Narrowsburg, New York. The theme was Grimm's Fairy Tales, and I took on "Snow White."

On April 11, 2019, I spoke at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, in a Town Hall organized by Sundance with For Freedoms. Moderated by Brenda Coughlin, the Town Hall included Shirley Abraham, Holly Gordon, Judy Kibinge, Jennifer Pahlka, and Indhu Rubasingham.

For the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, I helped produce a Sundance For Freedoms Town Hall. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, performer and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, artist/co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors, and playwright and performer Lisa Kron (Fun Home) joined Tabitha Jackson, Eric Gottesman, and myself to talk about "Can Art Save Democracy?". Images can be seen here.

On March 3 at the International Center of Photography, I moderated a discussion with Daughters of the Movement: Gina Belafonte, daughter of Julie and Harry Belafonte; Suzanne Kay, daughter of Diahann Carroll; Stacy Lynch, daughter of Bill Lynch; Hasna Muhammad, daughter of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee; Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz; Dominique Sharpton, daughter of Reverend Al Sharpton; and Keisha Sutton-James, granddaughter of Percy Sutton. The event was featured in Amsterdam News, and Brea Baker wrote about it for ELLE magazine.

On March 29, I moderated a conversation between authors Julie Buntin, Susan Choi, and Sharma Shields at the AWP Conference in Portland, Oregon. The event was sponsored by Henry Holt/Macmillan.

On September 16, 2018, I was on a panel with Maggie Mustard, A.O. Scott, and Deborah Solomon at the Brooklyn Book Festival. The event was named by The Cut/New York as one of the most memorable moments of the Festival. You can see the video here.





Meg Thompson, Director
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Photographs by Thomas Dozol and Béatrice de Géa