Kickoff - Madhur Jaffrey
Opening Night :
Sir Salman Rushdie +Suketu Mehta
Festival Overview
Festival Schedule
Closing Night: Mira Nair + Sabrina Dhawan
Hunter College Site Map
Oct 24th Session 1A
Oct 24th Session 1B
Oct 24th Session 2A
Oct 24th Session 2B
Oct 24th Session 3A
Oct 24th Session 3B
Oct 24th Session 4A
Oct 24th Session 4B
Oct 25th Session 1A
Oct 25th Session 1B
Oct 25th Session 2A
Oct 25th Session 2B
Oct 25th Session 3A
Oct 25th Session 3B
Oct 25th Session 4A
Oct 25th Session 4B
Literary Pub Crawl
Press Release
Call For Submission

OCTOBER 22-25, 2015
Individual Session Tickets: $15; $12 IAAC members/Hunter College Faculty & Students
- See Schedule below
Daily Pass (includes all daytime sessions on either the 24th or the 25th): $50; $40 IAAC members/Hunter College Faculty & Students Buy Tickets
Festival Pass (includes all Lit Fest events and sessions) $150; $120 IAAC members/Hunter College Faculty & Students Buy Tickets
Breakout sessions will be in 605 W and the 8th Floor Faculty/Staff Lounge
October 22nd, 2015 at Hunter College, NYC
7-9 pm Kickoff Session & Reception Buy Tickets
Madhur Jaffrey: Book launch of "Vegetarian India"
Post-discussion Q&A, book sale & signing followed by a wine reception.
No one knows Indian food like Madhur Jaffrey. For more than forty years, the "godmother of Indian cooking" (The Independent on Sunday) has introduced Western home cooks to the vibrant cuisines of her homeland. Now, in Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking, the seven-time James Beard Award–winning author shares the delectable, healthful, vegetable- and grain-based foods enjoyed around the Indian subcontinent. With more than two hundred recipes, beautifully illustrated throughout, and including personal photographs from Jaffrey’s own travels, Vegetarian India is a kitchen essential for vegetable enthusiasts and home cooks everywhere.
October 23rd , 2015 at Hunter College NYC
7-9 pm Opening Night Session & Reception Buy Tickets
Salman Rushdie & Suketu Mehta: Bombay Boys in New York.
Moderator: Amitava Kumar
Post-discussion Q&A, book sale & signing followed by a wine reception.
BOMBAY BOYS IN NEW YORK features Booker of Booker author Salman Rushdie and Kiriyama Prize winning author Suketu Mehta in conversation about the two cities Bombay and New York. Both authors have written extensively about both cities – the fecund and the dazzle, cities which aren't typical of either of the two countries they inhabit.
Suketu wrote Maximum City Bombay Lost & Found and is currently writing a book on New York in the same vein. Salman has referenced and set several of his novels in Bombay and his current book Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights opens in New York with a trip to Bombay.
October 24th, 2015 at Hunter College, NYC
10:00 – 10:30 am Registration
10:45 - 11:45 am Session 1A: Learning the Ropes of the Industry Buy Tickets
Publishers & Agents: Beena Kamlani, Priya Doraswamy, Rachel Kahan, Jaya Chatterjee, Kent Wolf
Agent/Moderator: Priya Doraswamy
Publishers and Agents speak of their roles, their expectations, why they consider manuscripts, why they reject them, the length of time between receiving a manuscript and contacting the author, contracts, retainers, what an author should know and prepare before submitting their work. Should an author have a literary agent? Should they contact Publishers directly? What are the pros and cons of each?
10:45 - 11:45 am Session 1B: Poetry Buy Tickets
Authors: Dr. Patrick Basu, Dr. Neal Hall, Rafiq Kathwari, Manav Sachdeva Maasoom, Vinay Tuli

Moderator: Meena Alexander

Five contemporary poets lead us into countries far from our own, and kingdoms close to the heart as they write of violence and survival, beauty and desire, the shifting present and the visionary past.
12 noon – 1 pm Session 2A: Writing for Network Television Buy Tickets
Writers: Cherien Dabis

Moderator/Writer: Sharbari Ahmed

In the UK one can flip on the television and see, at any given moment, South Asians depicted as part of the mainstream culture there. In the US the story has been markedly different. Up until very recently South Asians were relegated to stereotypical and limited characterizations that sometimes bordered on caricatures, the affable or grumpy taxi driver, the fresh off the boat convenience store clerk, the "guru" brimming with Eastern wisdom. But things are changing, and fast! The US is starting to catch up, with shows like the Mindy Project and the rise of stars like Aziz Ansari and Asif Maandvi. And finally a major network--ABC-- will air a primetime drama with an Indian female protagonist. That show is Quantico and is ground breaking in its approach. There is a push now to diversify the writing staff for tv shows and writing for such a show requires different creative skills than from that of novelists or playwrights. What does it take to find a seat in a major network writing room in the 21st century? And what does it mean to be a South Asian or minority trying to diversify that room?
12 noon – 1 pm Session 2B:
Historical Fiction: Shared Histories, New Interpretations
Buy Tickets
Authors: Khushwant Singh, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, Sudipto Roy Choudhury

Moderator: Rajika Bhandari

This panel brings together authors whose contemporary narratives are set against the backdrop of major historical events of the sub-continent and beyond: from the events of the Partition, to the legacy of the Sikhs, to the confluence of Indian, Chinese and European history in the colonial outpost of Singapore during World War II.
1:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch Break
2:15 – 3:15 pm Session 3A: Self Publishing Buy Tickets
Authors & Publishing professionals: Chandru Hira, Harish Gidwani, Jaya Kamlani, Miral Sattar, Anjali Singh, Rajdeep Paulus

Moderator: Sangeeta Mehta

Up until a few years ago, there was only one way to get published: through an established publishing company. Now, advances in digital technology have enabled all writers to bypass the traditional gatekeepers and self-publish, but is this the right choice for most of us? The first half of this panel will cover some of the “how-to” aspects of self-publishing: How to format and upload your book (on Amazon’s KDP or CreateSpace, Smashwords, Kobo, or another platform), how to set the right price for your book, how to secure reviews and market your book independently. The second half will focus on the personal journeys of several self-published authors and how they chose this path. Panel participants will also weigh in on emerging publishing models, such as community and partnership publishing, and the growing popularity of the hybrid model. Expect a lively debate and plenty of food for thought.
2:15 – 3:15 pm Session 3B: Atmospheric Embriodery Buy Tickets
Author: Meena Alexander

Moderator: Leah Souffrant

Leah Souffraint will engage Meena Alexander in conversation about her new book of poetry Atmospheric Embroidery after a brief Reading.
3:30 – 4:30 pm Session 4A: Publicizing Books Thru Social Media Buy Tickets
Speaker: Sree Sreenivasan

Social Media Guru Sree Sreenivasan will help authors traverse the social media jungle by showing you the most effective marketing strategies to publicize books on a medium primarily used for "connections".
3:30 – 4:30 pm Session 4B: India and her Realities Buy Tickets
Authors: Raghu Karnad, Meera Subramanian

Moderator/Author: Hindol Sengupta

India: The reality of her people during the Second World War and of her geographical crisis today.
9:00 pm Literary Pub Crawl, Greenwich Village, NYC
October 25th, 2015 at Hunter College, NYC
10:00 - 10:30 am Registration
10:45 - 11:45 am Session 1A: Over-Exposed and Invisible: Writing the South Asian Muslim Experience Buy Tickets
Authors: Kavitha Rajagopolan, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Moustafa Bayoumi

Moderator/Author: Marina Budhos

Writing is an intimate act. But news about Islam, the war on terror, ISIS, and Muslims daily blares in the public sphere. How to bring to light an experience that is both over-exposed and invisible? As a writer creating literature about the South Asian Muslim experience, how does one manage the balance of private and public? Does one write to counter Islamophobia and stereotpyes? Or simply stay true to one’s own private vision? What are the particular challenges of creating a literature of the South Asian Muslim experience? Authors Marina Budhos, Tanwi Nandini Islam and Kavitha Rajgopolan will share their own experiences as authors writing fiction and nonfiction on the South Asian Muslim experience.
10:45 - 11:45 am Session 1B: Negotiating South Asian LGBT Identity Buy Tickets
Authors: Mala Kumar, John Burbridge

Moderator: Chaya Babu

This category emphasizes a diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender writing in all genres, including fiction and nonfiction and works of varying length. Participating writers provide a platform to discuss critical LGBT issues that continue to be taboo on the Indian subcontinent.
12 noon – 1 pm Session 2A: Everything Starts With the Written Word Buy Tickets
Author: Padma Lakshmi

Moderator: Priya Krishna

Padma Lakshmi was originally known as a model and actress, but her career really started with her writing. Meet the author of two cookbooks and the ex-syndicated columnist for the New York Times and style columnist of Harpers Bazaar as she discusses how her work as a writer launched her career in food and TV, including two culinary shows on the food network, her Emmy nominated role as host & executive producer of the hit series Top Chef, the world of retail table top hard goods with the Padma Collection, as well as her culinary company Easy Exotic, which sells teas, and organic frozen rice. Padma will discuss her journey from her first cookbooks to where she is today.
12 noon – 1 pm Session 2B: Women Fiction Writers Buy Tickets
Authors: Tania James, Maya Lang, Mira Jacob

Moderator: Sujata Massey
Meet three writers with recent, critically acclaimed novels set in the U.S. and India. Besides exploring the concepts and processes that built these books, we'll consider whether the idea of a "woman's novel" is a publishing plus or an outmoded stereotype.
1:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch Break
2:15 – 3:15 pm Session 3A: The hot new genre of food writing Buy Tickets
Authors: Suvir Saran, Vikas Khanna, Saransh Goila, Nandita Godbole

Moderator: Pia Padukone

Established chefs, food writers, and food critics who bring their discerning palate and cooking to the art of writing.
2:15 – 3:15 pm Session 3B: Fiction writers Buy Tickets
Authors: T Dasu, Rahul Deokar, Zubin Shroff, Sameer Pandya

Moderator: Nayana Currimbhoy

To write fiction is to create a world out of thin air. Writing fiction can be akin to climbing up a slippery slope. The possibilities are endless. Does the mother live or die? Do the friends betray each other, do the star crossed lovers live happily ever after? An ocean of possibilities arise at every turn. How do we control our stories? Are our characters galley slaves, as Nabokov famously said, or do they get up and walk out into the world and do things we did not expect? What are the forces that fuel our fiction?
3:30 – 4:30 pm Session 4A: Treading on Eggshells :The Muslim "Invasion" Buy Tickets
Authors: Akeel Bilgrami

Moderator/Author:  J.J.Robinson

A discussion on the global & political ramifications of Muslims today - their secular identity, nationhood and identity in a crisis moment; as well as a world view of refugees, racism, terrorism…..
3:30 – 4:30 pm Session 4B: The Rebel & The Sage Buy Tickets
Susan Adelman, Ram Jethmalani, Hindol Sengupta

Moderator: Devika Kewalramani

Susan Adelman, biographer of the Rebel, Hindol Sengupta, journalist, and Ram Jethmalani will be in conversation about India then, and India now. Panelists will discuss democracy, justice, enterprise, and notion of per capita hope, amongst India's one point two billion.
7:00 – 9:00 pm Closing Night Session & Reception. Buy Tickets
Mira Nair & Sabrina Dhawan in conversation:  From Page to Stage
Moderator: Henry Bean
Auditorium 615, Hunter College, NYC
Post discussion Q&A and wine reception.

Filmmaker, screen-writer, producer Sabrina Dhawan made her screenwriting debut with Director Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding which won the Leon D'Oro at the Venice Film Festival and received a Golden Globe nomination. She is now writing a script for the upcoming Stage Production of Mira's Monsoon Wedding. Mira and Sabrina will discuss the process of page to stage (and screen to stage!) as well as their amazing collaboration on both the film and the play.
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