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

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Writing News 2019

Please read this profile of me in the Times of Sri Lanka and learn more about my life, work, egg coffee, and the Pekoe Trail: 


My last book Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence was optioned by ABC Signature/Disney Television Studios and is in development as a television series by Joanna Coles Productions (Joanna Coles and Jessica Whitaker) and Purple Pebble Pictures (Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Mary Rohlich). Priyanka Chopra Jonas is in talks to star in the show.


Please visit this page for more information, including radio and television appearances as well as book tour conversations:


Please spread the word with this Domestic Violence Awareness Toolkit:


This folder contains resources such as advice for survivors, signs of digital abuse, and more: 


Assume Nothing was selected as the #OneBookOneCommunity selection for all of Berkshire County. In April 2023, I did a virtual book talk in conjunction with this program. Here are two articles about it:



During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 2021, I had a series of conversations with Miss Universe Andrea Meza of Mexico:

Episode 1




Episode 2



Library Journal reviewed the book as "a searing, yet sensitive account of vulnerability and redemption that will find a wide audience." Kirkus Reviews called Assume Nothing "a courageous and compelling example of an author writing her 'way out of the darkness.'" Publishers Weekly said, "This gripping story is not to be missed."

The New York Times praised the book's "crisp, unadorned prose," and further said, "In methodically describing how a successful artist and activist can fall into a dark relationship with a controlling man, she is performing a rare and valuable service."

Ms. Magazine included the book on its list of the 100 most anticipated releases of 2021. And it was a top pick by Zibby Owens on gma.com.

Additional press includes interviews for the New York Times, The Tamron Hall Show, Time,

the New Yorker, People, Good Morning America, and Vanity Fair.

Please order here and help spread the word with the assets in the toolkit: https://bit.ly/assumenothing

Please sign up for my mailing list at the end of this page and follow @TanyaAuthor on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


My most recent documentary feature production is Paint Me a Road Out of Here by Catherine Gund, and it premiered at DC/DOX in June 2024. You can read about it and the mother-daughter team of Keri and Yara Shahidi signing on as Executive Producers in this Variety piece: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/yara-shahidi-paint-me-a-road-out-of-here-documentary-1235988860

Catherine and I have worked on many films together, including a documentary about her mother, the renowned art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund, who sold a $165 million Lichtenstein painting to start the Art for Justice Fund to fight mass incarceration.

AGGIE had its world premiere at Sundance 2020, and is available to stream.

Please visit: https://aggiefilm.com/

For Story Syndicate, I produced and co-directed "Love to the Max," about the targeting of trans kids through the story of Max Briggle and his family in Texas. The documentary short had its world premiere at Aspen Shortsfest on April 3, 2024. You can read about it in the Aspen Daily News. On April 27, 2024, "Love to the Max" played at the Thin Line Festival in Denton, Texas, and was featured in the

Dallas Observer. It was acquired by The New Yorker and is now publicly available alongside a piece by Emily Witt:


It can also be viewed on The New Yorker's YouTube channel:


Leaf Me Alone

In May 2024, I wrote about the new double bind for women in the Daily Beast:


I am working on a book inspired by my essay "Leaf Me Alone" for ELLE Magazine:


This piece is accompanied by the art of Shyama Golden.

In March 2024, I was a guest speaker at Dr. Debby Herbenick's Sex Salon, based at Indiana University in Bloomington. While there, I also worked on my book at the

Hundredth Hill Residency.

In March 2022, to coincide with International Women's Day and Women's History Month, I was featured as a Changemaker in the WITH LOVE series on Spotify. You can listen to my episode here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/15RR4eXQddoLZ49nA9QMUk?si=j76Y4X-3Qp6G0cgfne7O9g&nd=1

In December 2021, Cosmo published my essay about the holiday season and domestic violence: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a38375186/domestic-violence-holidays-tanya-selvaratnam/

And Debbie Millman interviewed me for her PRINT magazine column "What Matters": https://www.printmag.com/design-inspiration/what-matters-tanya-selvaratnam-on-the-secret-joy-of-turning-50-and-daydreaming/

Domestic Violence during Covid-19

I wrote a piece for the New York Times about “Where Can Domestic Violence Victims Turn During Covid-19?”: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/opinion/covid-domestic-violence.html

I had conversations about the issue with:

Miss Universe Zozi Tunzi of South Africa on Instagram Live
Alison Stewart for ALL OF IT/WNYC
Selina MacKenzie for Talk Radio Europe
Dr. Lisa Coleman, as part of NYU Womxn100

Jenna Flanagan for WNET

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