To enter our giveaway for a copy of Tanwi Nandini’s debut novel Bright Lines, follow the instructions at the end of this post. The latest installment of The Aerogram’s Book Club featured a discussion about this novel with editor Neelanjana Banerjee and Nilanjana Bhattacharjya. Weaving together issues of gender, desire, migration, secrets, conflict, tragedy and botany, Bright Lines‘ story, set in 2003, is about the Saleem family and follows them from Brooklyn to Bangladesh.
For even more engaging literary discussions and outstanding South Asian book selections, head over to the previous installments of The Aerogram’s Book Club:
In Sharma’s second novel, readers meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, waiting for the day when they can join their father in America. America to the Mishras is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land. Editor Neelanjana Banerjee, Anirvan Chatterjee and Nasia Anam share their impressions of the novel in this inaugural installment of The Aerogram’s Book Club.
In this novel from the first Nepali-born novelist writing in English to be published in the West, a scorned wife living apart from her husband in the village travels to Kathmandu when she learns her husband has taken another wife and had a son, named Tarun. Didi, the first wife, reclaims her husband, expels his second family and begins a manipulative relationship with Tarun. In their discussion, Neelanjana Banerjee and author Ali Eteraz discuss the character of Didi, and wonder if the world is ready for a South Asian female Humbert Humbert to come to life on the page.
Eteraz’s short story collection explores outlaws, monsters, and mythologies, often with a specific focus: the world of Islam, the stories of men and women living, surviving, and being enslaved as laborers in the Persian Gulf, and immigrants from Pakistan to the US. His range doesn’t stop there and he also explores ancient times and Greek mythology — and supernatural beings. Taz Ahmed and poet Saba Razvi join Banerjee to examine Eteraz’s use of mythology, his exploration of female characters’ sexuality and agency, and more.
Munaweera’s debut novel follows the paths of both Sinhalese and Tamil people as they deal with life in Sri Lanka, immigration, and ultimately: violence. Mutually illuminating each other, the heartaches in Island of A Thousand Mirrors are interlaced with the tragedies and atrocities of one of the most horrific civil wars in recent history. Editor Neelanjana Banerjee and writer and artist Swati Khurana share their impressions of the novel, its sensual and rich language and discuss its path to publication.
Welcome to Americastan is a comedic story about a Pakistani American girl named Samira (“Sam”) who returns to her parents’ home in Cary, NC, after a series of unfortunate events forces her to leave her life in DC. In her debut novel, Akhtar — who notably penned “Why Am I Brown? South Asian Fiction and Pandering to Western Audiences” — navigates through Samira’s tenuous relationship with her parents due to cultural differences, touching on what it means to be a South Asian American in post-9/11 America. Writers Simona Supekar and Ankur Thakkar join Banerjee to discuss the novel on its own merits and in relation to the incendiary essay.
Originally written in Hindi, Prakash’s book about a campus love story was translated by Jason Grunebaum, a senior lecturer in Hindi at the University of Chicago (look for his contribution to the discussion in the comments!). For this book discussion, Banerjee tapped Mahmud Rahman, who has investigated the lack of South Asian writing in translation published in America. Author, painter and translator Daisy Rockwell, and writer Kevin Hyde joined in to look at issues of translation and how the caste system and politics interact and influence the student romance portrayed in the novel.
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
Courtesy of Andrea Lam at Penguin Books, The Aerogram is giving away a few copies of Tanwi Nandini Islam’s debut novel Bright Lines to randomly selected readers. The directions for entering are simple. Before 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, February 10:
- Follow @theaerogram on Twitter.
- Email us at [email protected] with “Bright Lines giveaway” in the subject line and give us your Twitter handle and your US mailing address. (Sorry, but books will not be mailed outside of the United States for this giveaway.)
Readers randomly selected to get a copy of Bright Lines will receive email notification after February 10.
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