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.