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Nov 9th Session 4B
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 4B.
Fiction - including Short Stories
Moderated by Rajika Bhandari
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Sharbari Ahmed
The Ocean of Mrs Nagai
Sharbari Ahmed\'s fiction has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Caravan and in anthologies as well as other journals. Her work has been adapted into stage plays and screenplays (by her). Her debut novel is forthcoming. She currently resides in lovely Darien, CT with her son and worries her talents will only be fully recognized after she kicks the bucket.


Sharbari Z Ahmed\'s stories are spread across continents, involving characters from an old Japanese woman, harboring a terrible secret shame to a little Bangladeshi girl making friends with slum kids in Ethiopia to an adopted woman of Bangladeshi origin who is having a midlife crisis in Hell\'s Kitchen, NYC. Often using humor to challenge common perceptions of the world, the stories, at their core, are about acceptance, displacement and love.

Renu Kurien Balakrishnan
Renu Kurien BalakrishnanRenu Kurien Balakrishnan is an Indian novelist and teacher. Her first novel, Four Aleys, traces the lives of four Syrian Christian women over the first half of the twentieth century in an India changing from the old feudal ways to the new. Early last year, Renu and the students of her Creative Writing class at St Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Bombay, brought a collection of their short stories, Potluck, A Literary Collection of the Critique Group, which was well received in India. She is active in spoken English and women’s empowerment programmes in her neighborhood in Bombay, where she lives. She was educated at the Women’s Christian College, Madras and has attended creative writing classes at the New School, New York. She is at work on her second novel.
FourFour Aleys is a novel that tells the multi-generational story of four Syrian Christian women, all called Aley (Malayalam for Elizabeth) who are part of a large landowning family and set in the imagined town of Kalam which is on the island of Kanyadhan in the state of Devanidhi, the metaphoric Kerala.

The story flashes back over the life of the youngest woman, Little Aley, starting with her childhood as a carefree child of a doting family, playing with her pet monkey, building a tree house.

Then change comes. The party that has always represented the interests of landlords like Little Aley's family is defeated in the elections. Little Aley is sent off to a distant boarding school. Old obedient retainers start talking back to the patriarch of the family. An uncle is found murdered in his large plantation.

Little Aley, now a successful Oxford-educated politician, struggles to make sense of all these events of her past.

Nayana Currimbhoy
Miss Timmins' School for Girls
Nayana Currimbhoy is a New York based writer and journalist. She has written articles film scripts and published three works of non-fiction. Miss Timmins' School for Girls is her first novel. Nayana grew up in India, and lives now in New York City with her husband and teenage daughter.
Miss Timmins' School for Girls is set in a boarding school in a remote hill station in India run by British Missionaries. It is 1974, but the school still functions like a Victorian Outpost of the British Empire. A love story and a murder mystery, Miss Timmins' School for Girls is, ultimately a coming of age tale set against the turbulence of the 1970s as it played out in one small corner of India.

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, the award-winning author whose debut novel, Tivolem, was named one of the twenty notable first novels to be published in America in 1998, was born in Goa, India, in 1925, when it was still a Portuguese colony; so he counts Portuguese, along with Konkani and English, as one of his three mother tongues.

His short stories were first published in Bombay in the 1940s and 50s; more recently they have been featured in three top American literary magazines---the North American, Iowa, and Literary Reviews. Other pieces, including much humor, appeared in The Indian-American, the now defunct cultural magazine that for some years was published in New York. HarperCollins, India, published a collection of his short fiction, Loving Ayesha and Other Stories, in 2003, with illustrations by the celebrated Mario Miranda; it promptly made the bestseller lists in that country.
When Marie Santana, single, poor, and broken-hearted, returns in 1933 from the Portuguese colony of Mozambique to the village of Tivolem where she was born, her new neighbor is Simon Fernandes, a violinist also freshly returned from Kuala Lumpur. The sleepy village has already been roiled by two other returnees, one of whom has come back from the Persian Gulf. With money to burn, he builds himself a house so large that it upsets the local elite.

A lone shortwave radio breaks through Tivolem’s isolation, bringing news of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, and of Mahatma Gandhi’s independence movement; the winds of freedom blowing across India are yet just a breeze in Goa, with school principal Tendulkar being one of the few elders chafing at Goa being held under tight Portuguese control.

Simon is drawn to Marie-Santana and serenades her with his violin, but they have to be discreet in their behavior because they are being spied on by Josephine Aunty, the malicious village gossip. Josephine’s efforts to spread destructive rumors about Marie Santana only end when the local parish priest intervenes. However, a former love’s shadow still hangs over Marie-Santana, but once that is dispelled, all ends happily.

Shuvendu Sen
A Doctor’s Diary
Shuvendu-Sen.jpgDr. Shuvendu Sen is presently the Director of Medical Education and Associate Program Director of Internal Medicine Residency Program at Raritan Bay Medical Center, in New Jersey. Dr. Sen is also a columnist for Times of India and New Jersey Voices, The Star Ledger. Prior to these he had written and held columns for Home News Tribune, Futures magazine, The Statesman and The Guyana Times. His works of fiction and nonfiction have been published in various journals and magazines of US and UK (BBC). He has been thrice nominated for Pushcart Award for fictional and non fictional works, and is the Winner International Chapbook Competition, 2005 from Futures Magazine, MN for collection of verses titled Behind the Blue Veils. ( Editor, R C Hildebrandt)
A Doctor’s Diary- reflections on health, healing and hope is an endeavor to bring the art and the science of medicine together. Through individualized and frequently intense patient interactions or relevant anecdotes, outstanding health and social issues have been addressed. Although universal, most of these essays strive to dwell on Indian aspects as highlighted on chapters dealing with heart attacks on South Asians, prospects of Indian Classical music on mental health, increasing incidences of rapes, child abuses among many others. Awareness often forms the fulcrum of healing. This book contains glimpses of such awareness and education indispensable to our overall health as also our lives. Interaction with patients being priceless, most essays start with such short incidents or anecdotes. The articles in this compilation have in different formats appeared in print and online versions of various newspapers and magazines including the Times of India, NJ Voices, The Star Ledger, Futures Magazine, and Home News Tribune among others. Most articles address social, emotional and mental aspects of humans in the face of insurmountable challenges. The book touches all such aspects, subtle and coarse.

Rajika Bhandari
Rajika Bhandari Rajika Bhandari, writer and researcher, is the author of the nonfiction historical and travel book, The Raj on the Move: Story of the Dak Bungalow. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Passion Fruit: A Women’s Travel Journal, India Currents magazine, Man’s World magazine, InCulture Parent, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Times Higher Ed, and The Huffington Post. Rajika is also the author of five books on international education, including two on Asia. Originally from New Delhi, India, she currently lives in New York City.
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