The other side of the bridge

sophia nesamoney

About The Book

Varsha Wilson, an aspiring American journalist who was adopted from Kolkata, spends her childhood trying to escape her past and integrate into American society. However, when she receives an unexpected assignment from her journalism professor, she finds herself searching for a winning story in the city where she was born.

As Varsha struggles to find her place in India, she discovers a hidden world of child marriage, human trafficking, and violence against women, and, more importantly, the hope and bravery of two girls who will change her life forever.

Sales of Sophia’s book, The Other Side of the Bridge, will support the maternal and newborn health program (MANSI) of the America India Foundation. 

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Video : Brooke Johansen at Friendship Lane Productions; Music : www.bensound.com

From the Book

The women I had met in India were some of the most brave, intelligent, and compassionate human beings I had ever met, and I couldn’t help but imagine my birth mother dancing among the sea of women in front of us. With all my heart, I hoped she would be proud of me. It was in that moment that I realized how thankful I was for the life she gave me.

About Sophia

Now a senior at Castilleja school, Sophia published her first book, The Other Side of Carroll when she was 12. When she visited India with her family, and heard women’s stories about their hopes and fears, she decided to use her voice to spotlight others.

Sophia says, “Stories can change people’s perception. As writers, we have the power to change other people’s ideas. I want to listen to other people’s stories, to find ways to give back.”

She was recently awarded the prestigious “Katherine Hass Fellowship for Empathy, Exploration and Inclusion,” from Castilleja school. This fellowship is awarded to an outstanding scholar whose “unique passion for listening to others, as well as her commitment to leadership, amplifies the voices within a group in the name of a common cause or goal.”

Sophia’s Process

The Other Side of the Bridge is Sophia’s second book through our Your Name in Ink program.  Together with her professional mentor, Ailynn Collins, Sophia spent the last six months revising a novel that was sparked by her travels to rural and urban India. “When I saw the harsh reality of how girls and women are treated, even in places of progress—when I saw their big dreams, even though many of them had faced some form of assault—I was inspired to raise awareness of what’s happening.”

Sophia’s Cause

Sophia chose to support the America India Foundation with the proceeds of her book and hopes to help expand their initiatives to other villages and improve current life saving programs especially for young mothers. She says, “All my life, I’ve been fortunate to have parents who help me see the world in a different way. When I was younger, I didn’t fully understand the obstacles young girls and women in India and indeed across the globe, face. Over time, my experiences made me interested in the health of young women, especially in the area of global maternal health.  I want to work in medicine, and also keep writing. Writing keeps me connected to the why, to the stories of the women I’m helping.” Sophia was honored for her work with the Girls for the Last Girl Award from Apne Aap, an NGO based in India that is dedicated to ending human trafficking worldwide.

About Your Name in Ink

In the Your Name in Ink Program, professional writers mentor youth through a 6-9 month revision process which results in a printed or published book available through independent bookstores and other retailers. Through Your Name in Ink, youth writers:

  • experience the editorial process
  • take their writing skills to the next level
  • learn the ins and outs of how the publishing world works
  • support a cause they believe in with the proceeds of their book

“Youth authors have important stories to tell,” says Society of Young Inklings Executive Director, Naomi Kinsman. “By publishing their novels, we celebrate their enormous accomplishment. Their gift of perspective and the funds they raise make an impact on causes close to their hearts.”