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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

Session 1B
Debut Authors
Moderated by Vibhuti Patel
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Sudnya Shroff
Sudnya Shroff is an artist and writer. UNRAVELING is Sudnya's first novel. She lives in Northern California. Throughout her wide-ranging career in the fine arts, Sudnya Shroff has reached out and connected with her audience by sharing her life experiences and reflections through her two favorite vehicles of expression - color and words. Having received recognition in New York and California for her sensuous explorations of emotions through color, Sudnya, in her debut novel UNRAVELING, uses the written word to paint a riveting and deeply moving portrait, taking the readers with her to culturally disparate and geographically distant places spanning California, Singapore and India.
Anchored in time around the 2008 Mumbai bombings, UNRAVELING is the story of the protagonist, Shalini, who only after experiencing an extremely hostile situation, awakens to the realization that she has become hostage to her own life choices. From the high pitch of her days as a young girl full of promise, ready to take on the world on her own terms; to the sober sound of life abandoned, grief borne and chances lost, Shalini struggles, as much with herself as her circumstances - yearning to give in to her heart's honest desires on one hand, while wrestling with guilt over her notions of loyalty and inviolability of the marriage contract on the other. Is her deep discontent with her personal life merely a weakness serving her own selfish need, or is it a manifestation of a deeper sensibility? Vibrant, thought-provoking and thoroughly engaging, UNRAVELING is not just the story of a woman facing up to her life of self-deception, but also a meditation on the theory of how choice, unselfish as it may seem at the time we make it, can cause collateral damage along the way.

Pia Padukone
Where Earth Meets Water
Pia Padukone debuts with her novel, Where Earth Meets Water, published by Harlequin Mira. Pia is a writer and a proud native of New York. At the age of 12, Pia won the Barnard College Young Women’s Writing Award. A finalist in Seventeen Magazine’s Fiction Writing Contest, and most recently a winner of the Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest. Pia derives much literary inspiration from the world around her. Pia has written for Star News, Associated Press (UK). She and her husband Rohit, maintain a reading and eating blog, Two Admirable Pleasures. She is currently writing her second novel about two families that meet through a student exchange program and will also be published by Harlequin Mira. Visit Pia Padukone at on Twitter @PiaPadukone and on
Karom Seth should have been in the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11, and on the Indian shores in 2004, when the tsunami swept his entire family into the ocean. Whether it's a curse or a blessing, Karom can't be sure, but his absence from these disasters has left him with crushing guilt - and a belief that fate has singled him out for invincibility. Karom's affliction consumes everyone around him, from his best friend, Lloyd, to his girlfriend, Gita, who hopes that a trip to India will help him find peace. It is in Delhi that he meets Gita's grandmother, Kamini - a quirky but wise woman with secrets of her own. At first Karom dismisses Kamini, but little does he realize that she will ultimately lead him to the clarity he's been looking for. Spanning the globe from New York to India, Where Earth Meets Water is a stunning portrait of a quest for human understanding, and a wise exploration of grief, survival and love in all its forms.

Suman Bhattacharya
Error Code Love
Suman Bhattacharya has established himself as one of the most loved young writers of recent times in India. With almost 400 thousand followers on Facebook ( he enjoys a huge number of global followers from UK, USA, Asia and Africa. His debut novel “Error Code Love” has gained popularity since its release in India and the first edition is already sold out. Known to be writing for, about and around youth, Suman Bhattacharya is termed as the voice of new-age youth in social media. Suman has written for Times, Asian Age, Mid-Day and other noticeable publications as a freelance journalist. Known for his witty, trendy yet relevant write ups, Suman works in Adobe systems, USA as a Computer scientist. In his own words : “I work for a nice meal at lunch. I write for a peaceful sleep after dinner.” 
Error Code Love is a fast paced youth drama set in the contemporary world of Bangalore, India and narrates the story of an obsessive, angst-ridden teenager who transcends all social and moral norms and boundaries. The story is full of insight but couched in modern humor that any 20 something will love. It’s a great peek into Indian youth culture yet it is human and will appeal to anybody in the world. The story opening in Bengaluru, flashes between time frames of the past and the present and depicts various shades of youth emotions. Driven by crazed love for Neera, Dev, our next door shy software engineer, commits the biggest mistake of his life. Losing his career, education, love, and life by a single act of madness, Dev walks the path of redemption only to find himself in the exact position and facing the same dilemma years later…

Falguni Kothari
Its’s your move, Wordfreak
Falguni Kothari is a New York-based Indian novelist and the author of It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (2012), Bootie and the Beast (2014) and Scrabbulous Impressions, a short story published in Femina Magazine, India. She came in third place for the Great Beginnings contest hosted by the Wisconsin Romance Writers’ Chapter for her story, Karna: The Age of Kali. More at


Wordfreak and Worddiva hit it off right from their first online Scrabble game. Playing game after game every night leads to fun and flirty online chats and a cerebral attraction so powerful that it sizzles and burns the broadband connection between them. The Scrabble crazy duo cultivate the perfect relationship—a virtual one. A bond where the past doesn't matter and neither do their names. A bond fused by cheesy words and raucous laughs. But their simple and uncomplicated connection is shaken when Alisha Menon, parental-divorce survivor and successful divorce lawyer meets Aryan "Save-the-Planet" Chawla on a blind date. As reality intrudes on their online idyll, the rules of the game change forever. Soon, the two realize that some words cannot be taken lightly. Can the real Wordfreak and Worddiva spell love in capital letters or is the game of life a deal-breaker for them?

Soniah Kamal
An Isolated Incident
Soniah Kamal is the 2014 Paul Bowles Fiction Fellow at Georgia State University (MFA) as well as Fiction Assistant Editor for GSU’s acclaimed publication Five Points: A Journal of Arts and Literature where she is the founder and curator of the interview series “Off The Beaten Road”. Soniah is the recipient of the Susan B. Irene Award from St. Johns College for her thesis on Arranged vs Love Marriages. Soniah is the guest editor and curator of the special South Asian Issue of Sugar Mule: A Literary Magazine: “No Place Like Home: Borders, Boundaries and Identity in South Asia and Diaspora” in which she showcased the poetry, memoir and fiction of 47 South Asian writers. Soniah’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cosmopolitan, The Rumpus, Pank, Huffington Post, Akashic Thursdaze, xoJane, SAMAR, Bengal Lights, Chowrangi, ArtsATL and more. Her shorts stories and essays are in the anthologies A Letter from India: Contemporary Short Stories from Pakistan; Neither Night Nor Day: 13 stories from Women Writers from Pakistan; And the World Changed : Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women; Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop; Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women of War, Faith and Sexuality and more. Soniah grew up in England, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and lives in the US. An Isolated Incident is her debut novel. 
After surviving a brutal attack in Kashmir, India, 19-year-old Zari Zoon arrives in America to live with distant relatives, the Nabis, in order to stitch back the tatters of her life. Zari and Billy Nabi are drawn to each other, Zari by her need to connect after the trauma, and Billy by his desire to rise above his sheltered suburban life and make a difference in the world. Brought up on the tales of his freedom fighter grandfather’s heroism, Billy longs to live up to his idol and he finds in Zari and her past a reason to life, and go to war. As Billy travels from a jihadi training camp in Afghanistan to Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, his dinner table ideals and loyalties to his myriad identities are tested, and the truth he so desperately seeks, the truth he believes will set him free, threatens to imprison him. Back in America, Zari, caught up in the maelstrom left by Billy’s disappearance, questions herself and the her God as she strives to find some sense, some validity in a precarious world where healing depends on perhaps more than just revenge. An Isolated Incident is a novel about belonging, redemption and faith.

Anjali Mitter Duva
Faint Promise of Rain
Anjali Mitter Duva is a writer who grew up in France with family roots in Calcutta. She was educated at Brown University and MIT, and worked for some years as an urban planner. Her debut novel, Faint Promise of Rain, comes out in October 2014. She is also a co-founder of Chhandika, a non-profit organization dedicated to kathak dance, a classical storytelling art form.
It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan, an outpost of resistance against a new Mughal emperor. In a family of Hindu temple dancers a daughter, Adhira, must carry on her family’s sacred tradition. Her father, against his wife and sons’ protests, insists Adhira “marry” the temple deity and give herself to a wealthy patron. But after one terrible evening, she makes a brave choice that carries her family’s story and their dance to a startling new beginning. Told from the memory of this exquisite dancer and filled with the sounds, sights and flavors of the Indian desert, this is the story of a family and a girl caught between art, duty, and fear in a changing world.

Rajdeep Paulus
Rajdeep Paulus decided to be a writer during her junior year in high school after her English teacher gave her an “F” but told her she had potential. She studied English Literature at Northwestern University and currently lives in New York with her Sunshine and four princesses where she writes Masala-marinated Young Adult Fiction.
"I live in the in between. Between what if and what is. It’s how I manage. It’s the only way I know. Everyone has their way. This is mine." When high school cell phone disruption forces a classroom ban, the words on a Post-it note spark a sticky romance between two unlikely friends. Transfer student Talia Vanderbilt has one goal at her new school: to blend in with the walls. Lagan Desai, basketball captain and mathlete, would do just about anything to befriend the new girl. One Post-it note at a time, Lagan persuades Talia to peel back her heart, slowly revealing her treasure chest of pain-an absent mother, a bedridden brother, and an abusive father. In a world where hurt is inevitable, the two teens search for a safe place to weather the storms of life. Together.

Elizabeth Enslin
While the Gods Were Sleeping
Elizabeth EnslinElizabeth Enslin is the author of While the Gods Were Sleeping: A Journey Through Love and Rebellion in Nepal (Seal Press, September 2014). She received her Ph.D from Stanford University in 1990 and carried out research in Nepal with funding from the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Her creative nonfiction and poetry appear in The Gettysburg Review, Crab Orchard Review, The High Desert Journal, The Raven Chronicles, Opium Magazine and In Posse Review. Recognition includes an Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the Oregon Arts Commission, an Honorable Mention for the Pushcart Prize, a Notable for Best American Essays and a Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship in Nonfiction to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She serves on the governing boards of Fishtrap (“writing in and about The West) and Slow Food Wallowas and assists Prescott College as an occasional graduate mentor and thesis reader. She lives in a strawbale house in the canyon country of northeastern Oregon, where she raises garlic, pigs and yaks. 
Love and marriage brought American anthropologist Elizabeth Enslin to a world she never planned to make her own: living among Brahman in-laws in a remote village in the plains of Nepal. As she faced the challenges of married life, birth, and childrearing in a foreign culture, she discovered as much about human resilience, and the capacity for courage, as she did about herself. While the Gods Were Sleeping: a Journey Through Love and Rebellion in Nepal tells a compelling story of a woman transformed in the most intimate and unexpected ways. Set against the backdrop of increasing political turmoil in Nepal, Enslin’s story takes us deep into the lives of local women as they claim their rightful place in society, and make their voices heard.

Vibhuti PatelVibhuti Patel In her 30 years with Newsweek, Vibhuti Patel wrote on arts and culture, interviewed celebrities for the International magazine's backpage, reported cover stories, edited the Letters column and co-anchored the weekly radio show, Newsweek On Air. Outside Newsweek, Vibhuti was a long-time columnist for The Earth Times, published from the U.N. She has freelanced for The Times of India, India Today and Outlook magazine. The New York Times ran her op-ed on Bombay’s 1993 Hindu-Muslim riots. John Kenneth Galbraith wrote the introduction to her book "Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad," on miniature paintings depicting the First Lady’s trip to India. She has taught Modern Indian Literature at universities in Doha, Qatar, Cairo, Egypt, and in New York City. Since retiring from Newsweek as Contributing Editor, Vibhuti has been writing for the Wall St. Journal and freelancing for The Hindu and Indian Quarterly.
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