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AAWW Radio is the podcast of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, a national nonprofit dedicated to the idea that Asian American stories deserve to be told. Listen to AAWW Radio and you’ll hear selected audio from our current and past events. We’ve hosted established writers like Claudia Rankine, Maxine Hong Kingston, Roxane Gay, Amitav Ghosh, and Hanya Yanagihara, as well as more emerging writers like Ocean Vuong, Solmaz Sharif, and Jenny Zhang. Our events are intimate and intellectual, quirky yet curated, dedicated to social justice but with a sense of humor and weirdness. We curate our events to juxtapose novelists and activists, poets and intellectuals, and bring together people who usually wouldn’t be in the same room. We’ve got it all: from avant-garde poetry to post-colonial politics, feminist comics to lyric verse, literary fiction to dispatches from the racial justice left. A sanctuary for the immigrant imagination, we’re inventing the future of Asian American literary culture. Learn more by visiting aaww.org.

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Feb 13, 2019

In 2017, we hosted novelists Kamila Shamsie and Hirsh Sawhney, both writers who released new novels about South Asian families fractured in the diaspora. Kamila Shamsie’s novel Home Fire takes Sophocles’s classic tragedy Antigone as the starting point for her novel about political tensions in the War on Terror and the way it impacts Muslim families in the West. Hirsh Sawhney’s debut novel South Haven illustrates how grief complicates and splinters intimacy in an Indian-American family.

The two authors read from their work, and talk with journalist Rozina Ali about power structures, American Empire in literature, the collective grief following Partition in 1947, the rise of Hindu fundamentalism, as well as speak to America’s complicity in the formation of ISIS, and debunk myths on the War on Terror.

The authors also do a deep dive on craft, and discuss authenticity and the responsible imagination; as well as how to control (and not control) when your audience misreads your writing.