POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—On Tuesday, November 17, three authors –Meera Nair, Hirsh Sawhney, and Mohan Sikka – will give a reading from their stories contained in the recent anthology Delhi Noir. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 5:00pm in Sanders Hall Spitzer Auditorium (Room 212).
“The city unfolds like a fever dream - a series of interconnecting shadow worlds, hidden beneath the palaces, domes, and fragrant parks the tourists see,” noted Cathi Unsworth in her review of Delhi Noir in the Guardian (UK). “Hirsh Sawhney's anthology resounds with the everyday conflict of this metropolis, the uncomfortable rub between extremes of poverty and wealth, ancient religious strife and corporate imperialism.”
Edited by Hirsh Sawhney, Delhi Noir is the most recent entry in the Akashic Books groundbreaking “noir” series, where each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within a respective city. The three authors who will speak about their work on November 17, each set their stories in different locations of Delhi, India: Meera Nair’s “Small Fry” set in the Inter State Bus Terminal; Hirsh Sawhney’s “Gautam Under a Tree” set in the Green Park area; and Mohan Sikka’s story “The Railway Aunty” set in the railway colony of Paharganj.
Some of the best Indian writers today contributed to the Delhi Noir anthology and include, in addition to Nair, Sawhney, and Sikka, the authors Irwin Allan Sealy, Omair Ahmad, Nalinaksha Bhattacharya, Siddharth Chowdhury, Radhika Jha, Ruchir Joshi, Tabish Khair, Palash K. Mehrotra, Hartosh Singh Bal, Manjula Padmanabhan, and Uday Prakash.
"For those whose view of India is shaped by The Jewel in the Crown, conversations with a call-in center, or even Slumdog Millionaire, this anthology in Akashic's noir series will register simultaneously as a shock, an education, and entertainment,” noted Publishers Weekly. “Few books can alter one's perception about the state of a society, but this does, while delivering noir that's first class in any light.”
About the SpeakersMeera Nair grew up in five different states in India before coming to America in 1997. She is the author of Video: Stories, which won the Asian American Literary Award in 2003. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and NPR.
Hirsh Sawhney, the editor of and contributor to Delhi Noir, has written for the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Time Out New York, Outlook, and the Indian Express. He splits his time between Delhi and Brooklyn.
Mohan Sikka, who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, is the author of “Uncle Musto Take a Mistress,” which was published in One Story and won the O. Henry Award. He spent part of his childhood and teenage years in Delhi, where he lived in various railway colonies, including the one depicted in his story “Railway Aunty.”
This reading is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Faculty and the South Asian Students' Alliance.
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.