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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 3A
Just for Laughs: The serious business of comedy writing
moderated by Rajiv Satyal
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Aasif Mandvi
No Land’s Man
Aasif Mandvi is a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. As a writer, Mandvi is the recipient of the 1999 OBIE award for his critically acclaimed play, Sakina’s Restaurant, which was performed and conceived by Mandvi, and was adapted into the film, Today’s Special. Some of his theatre credits include the Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, as well as Homebody/Kabul, Suburbia, and Disgraced. His film credits include Premium Rush, The Proposal, The Last Airbender, The Internship, and Million Dollar Arm. Mandvi’s television credits include Jericho, Curb Your Enthusiasm, E.R, Sleeper Cell and HBO’s upcoming The Brink, on which he also serves as writer and producer. He lives and works in New York City.
If you're an Indo-Muslim-British-American actor who has spent more time in bars than mosques over the past few decades, turns out it's a little tough to explain who you are or where you are from. In No Land's Man Aasif Mandvi explores this and other conundrums through stories about his family, ambition, desire, and culture that range from dealing with his brunch-obsessed father, to being a high-school-age Michael Jackson impersonator, to joining a Bible study group in order to seduce a nice Christian girl, to improbably becoming America's favorite Muslim/Indian/Arab/Brown/Doctor correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
This is a book filled with passion, discovery, and humor. Mandvi hilariously and poignantly describes a journey that will resonate with anyone who has had to navigate his or her way in the murky space between lands. Or anyone who really loves brunch. A mix of humorous stories, heartfelt observations, and misfit mayhem, No Land’s Man is a quintessentially American story - a laugh-out-loud account of a second-generation immigrant’s search for meaning and identity in an increasingly confusing world.

Rakesh Satyal
Rakesh Satyal is the author of the novel Blue Boy, a gender-bending comedy about a queer Indian American boy who thinks that he may be the reincarnation of Krishna. Blue Boy was the winner of a Lambda Award and the Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies and is now taught at high schools and colleges worldwide. Satyal also earned a 2010 Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His short stories and essays have been widely anthologized, and he has written about pop culture for a variety of places, from Out Magazine to New York Magazine. For ten years, he was a book editor, first at Random House and HarperCollins, and worked with a wide variety of bestselling authors and debut novelists. Satyal also sings a popular cabaret show that has been featured prominently, from Page Six to The New Yorker. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Rajiv Satyal
Rajiv Satyal is a standup comedian from Cincinnati, Ohio, whose witty, universal, and TV-clean act resonates around the world by covering everything from racial issues to soap bottles to his favorite topic — himself. This University of Cincinnati engineer and former P&G marketer has toured with Dave Chappelle, Tim Allen, Kevin Nealon, and Russell Peters.  He co-founded the world-touring Make Chai Not War, a Hindu/Muslim stand-up show that traversed seven Indian cities, sponsored by the U.S. State Dept. 
In August 2014, Rajiv released a video, I AM INDIAN, that went viral (200,000 YouTube hits in a week). His favorite sites in the whole wide world are and  This LA-based pocket pundit challenges people to see a new point-of-view. Most of all, he talks about what it’s like to be Rajiv. And we all have some Rajiv in us, even if we don’t want to admit it.
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