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Literary Pub Crawl
Call For Submission
in collaboration with The South Asia Institute,
Columbia University and India Abroad
NOVEMBER 7-9, 2014

November 8th - Session 1A
Writing the City: Tales from the metropolis
Moderated by Arun Venugopal
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Suketu Mehta
Maximum City
Suketu Mehta is the New York-based author of ‘Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found,’ which won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, the Lettre Ulysses Prize, the BBC4 Samuel Johnson Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. He has won the Whiting Writers’ Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. Mehta’s work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Time, and Newsweek, and has been featured on NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ and ‘All Things Considered.’

Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. He is currently working on a nonfiction book about immigrants in contemporary New York, for which he was awarded a 2007 Guggenheim fellowship. He has also written original screenplays for films, including ‘New York, I Love You.’ Mehta was born in Calcutta and raised in Bombay and New York. He is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insider’s view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs; following the life of a bar dancer raised amid poverty and abuse; opening the door into the inner sanctums of Bollywood; and delving into the stories of the countless villagers who come in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks.

Kalyan Ray
No Country
Kalyan Ray grew up in Calcutta after his family was uprooted from the Ganges Delta (now Bangladesh) through a combination of political upheavals, natural disasters, and poverty. Educated in India and the U.S., he has lived and taught in Ireland, Greece, Ecuador, Jamaica, and the Philippines, and currently divides his time between the U.S. and Kolkata. He is the author of Eastwords, and has translated several books of contemporary Indian poetry into English. He is married to acclaimed Indian film director and actress Aparna Sen.
Spanning two centuries and three continents, No Country is a glorious, sweeping melting pot of a novel. Riding long on the relentless tide of history – from terrorism on the Indian subcontinent, to an European pogrom, to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, building toward the terrible intimacy of a murder in a sleepy upstate New York town – the fallout from the lives torn apart in No Country smolders for generations. This is an epic, ambitious, and endlessly satisfying novel of love and its betrayals, hardship, family, and belonging, and how all of history is, at its core, deeply personal.

K Anis Ahmed
Goodnight Mr Kissinger & Other Stories
K. Anis Ahmed is a Bangladeshi writer based in Dhaka. He is a co-founder of Bengal Lights, Bangladesh\'s most prominent new English literary journal. His first book of short stories, Good Night, Mr. Kissinger, was released in Bangladesh by UPL in November 2012. It was released in the USA in March 2014 and in the UK in June 2014 by The Unnamed Press. His first novel, The World in My Hands, was published in December 2013 by Vintage / Random House India. His first published story, \"Forty Steps,\" appeared in the Minnesota Review (Spring 2000), alongside pieces by Carlos Fuentes and William Gass, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Ahmed studied at Brown, Washington and New York Universities before returning to Bangladesh in 2004. In the US, Ahmed studied with Edmund White and Stanley Elkin, among others. He lives in Dhaka with his wife and son.
"The most exciting new Bangladeshi talent writing in English.\" - David Shook, World Literature Today \"Vividly realized and intricately observed, Goodnight, Mr. Kissinger is a poignant portrait of a city and the characters that live in the wake of great change.\" - Tahmima Anam, author of The Good Muslim Crowded and disordered, the city of Dhaka routinely deals out unexpected blows, setbacks, and isolation as well as success and epiphany to its denizens, some of whom populate this collection of nine stories. The city comes of age over the course of these tales, from its sleepy start as a provincial capital to the great, dysfunctional megalopolis it is today. So, too, the ages of the city are mirrored by the characters of the stories who face youthful challenges to love and ambition as well as more mature pressures and disappointments. Severed connections and the subsequent longing for understanding and unity are at the heart of this moving set of stories that will resonate long after the last page has been turned. Employing spare but precise language that recalls Naipaul and Coetzee, and vivid evocations akin to Vargas Lllosa and Bolaño, these stories mark the debut of a strong new talent in the burgeoning scene of English writing in Bangladesh.

Arun Venugopal
Arun Venugopal is the creator and host of Micropolis, WNYC Radio's ongoing series examining race, street life and urban identity. His work has regularly appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered as well as On the Media and Studio 360. He's written for Salon and the Wall Street Journal and has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Associated Press and PBS Newshour.
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