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in collaboration with The English Department, Hunter College (West Building) at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue

OCTOBER 22-25, 2015
October 24th, 2015 - 12 noon – 1 pm
Session 2B
Historical Fiction: Shared Histories, New Interpretations
Authors: Khushwant Singh, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar and Sudipto Roy Choudhury
Moderator: Rajika Bhandari

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Khushwant SinghKhushwant Singh is a writer, TV show host, consulting editor, Day and Night Television, and writes the popular column, 'Punjabi by Nature' in the Hindustan Times. Apart from farming, his true love is writing, and post the success of his first three books - Maharaja in Denims; Sikhs Unlimited; and Turbaned Tornado, he is presently working on the biography of one of the most intriguing of Indian politicians, Capt. Amarinder Singh. Khushwant lives in Chandigarh with his wife and son.
Maharaja In DenimsMaharaja In Denims, a tale of love, intrigue and passion rallies around a teenaged protagonist, Hari Singh Sandhu, present-day resident of one of Chandigarh’s tony sectors, and Suzanne his girlfriend. Very early into their relationship Hari begins to get flashes of a past life that includes Maharaja Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire. Clearly suggesting to a much-surprised teenager the very real possibility of him being Ranjit Singh’s incarnate! Alarmed at these happenings in his hitherto unencumbered and happily aimless existence, he needs little persuasion when Suzanne requests him to undergo a past life regression. Coughing up an incredible number of surprises, not least that of other, more horrific past lives. The author deftly interweaves the youthful love story with vignettes of Ranjit Singh’s life, loves, valour and conquests.

Manreet Sodhi SomeshwarManreet Sodhi Someshwartrained as an engineer, graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and worked in marketing, advertising and consulting, before writing snuck up on her. An award-winning writer (Commonwealth Broadcasting Association), and copy writer, she is a popular blogger as well. India Today (South Asia’s largest-selling weekly) called her debut novel, Earning the Laundry Stripes, “an enjoyable tale of a sassy girl’s headlong race up the corporate ladder.” Her second novel, The Long Walk Home, garnered critical acclaim - legendary poet-lyricist Gulzar called it “a narrative of pain that knows no borders.” Celebrated writer-historian Khushwant Singh hailed Manreet as “a gifted writer of great promise, a new star rising on the literary horizon.” Her third and fourth novels, The Taj Conspiracy, and The Hunt for Kohinoor are books one and two of a thriller trilogy, and have been bestsellers in India.
A Long Walk HomeA Long Walk Home - Seventy-one-year-old Baksh wakes up in pain one night and ventures out in search of a doctor. In the time it takes him to reach a hospital, his heart irretrievably damaged, he travels down memory lane, reliving his life lived in the border town of Ferozepur, Punjab - from pre-Partition India, to the holocaust that accompanied independence, the Indo-Pak wars, the Green Revolution and the rise of religious extremism.

Increasingly isolated in the terror-infested eighties, an era of curfews, encounters and hit lists, his world all but falls apart as his wife comes under the spell of a rabid preacher; his best friend, a Hindu, flees the town; the Bar council where he works cleaves along religious lines; and he himself makes an error of judgement that could have serious security ramifications. As he nears the end of his walk, and his life, he wonders: will there ever be a redemption, a homecoming?

Sudipto Roy ChoudhurySudipto Roy Choudhury is a professional Mathematical Physicist in Orlando, Florida, but with a serious long-term record of publication in Film and literature, including novels, volumes of translation, and an extensive list of film and literary reviews. His published literary work includes I Shall Come Out as a Tremendous Comet, The Arabian Knights of Kolkata and Other Stories. He has written two novels – The Whispered Raga, and Between the Union Jack and the Rising Sun.
Between the Union Jack and the Rising SunBetween the Union Jack and the Rising Sun - This novel interweaves three stories set in the Asian theatre of WWII covering the fertile crescent stretching from Singapore to Calcutta.

The first Chinese/Japanese/Eurasian tale is set in the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore, now being rapidly transformed as ‘comfort women’ are brought in. A second true story from the Quit India Movement is used as an Indian counterpart to the Raffles events. The third tale involves Subhash Bose and the INA, narrated here by two of the principal historical protagonists, Major Fujiwara and Captain Saraswati.

Rajika BhandariRajika 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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