Thursday, October 29, 2009

Saturday Nov. 14 in Brooklyn! The Asian American Writers' Workshop presents The Asian American Literary Festival

If you're in the NYC area (or can get there) on Saturday, November 14, consider visiting the Asian American Literary Festival.

They have a wide range of events. It's a relative bargain at $5 per reading and $20 for an all day pass (10 readings), particularly given the talks that they've organized. Intrigued? Check out the Asian American Literary Festival website at
Here are the talks on my list, descriptions lifted from the Asian American Literary Festival website. Glance at the schedule and come up with your own list.

Hard-Boiled India: Stories from the Delhi Noir anthology

In Delhi Noir, the capital becomes a backdrop of dark, unhinged stories of crime and betrayal. Hirsh Sawhney, Meera Nair and Mohan Sikka read from the fourteen stories that make up this exhilarating anthology. Hear Delhi unsentimental and uncut, the Delhi you're missing out on because mainstream publishing houses and glossy magazines can't stomach it.


One-Way or Round Trip? Immigrant Arrival and Return

Immigration isn't a one-way ticket. Most immigrants must make a vital choice: to plant roots or return to their homeland. But what determines where an immigrant journey ends? Columbia University Professor Mae Ngai, Mitra Suburban Sahibs Kalita, and Kavitha Muslims of Metropolis Rajagopalan discuss how many immigrants answer the question, to paraphrase The Clash, Should I stay or should I go?


The New Eclectics

From Chinese cops to Asian dating to immigrant name changes, four writers are creating a new genre of quirk and comedy. Come hear your friends Porochista Sons and Other Flammable Objects Khakpour, who the New York Times Book Review praised for her “punchy conversation" and "sharp humor”; Sesshu World Ball Notebook Foster, American Book Award Winner whose latest contains prose poems, shopping lists and overheard conversations, Ed This Is A Bust Lin, winner of the most AAWW Members' Choice awards in the Workshop's history, and Rolling Stone-featured comedian Jen Kwok of Date an Asian fame. A reading with verve and risk. Watch out, there may be some laughing involved.


Everyone's a Critic!

Well, everyone thinks they are. A review can influence how the public interacts with a work and even create enemies in the process. Three of today's most prominent critics (and friends!)--Believer magazine editor Ed Park, music critic Hua Hsu, and former Village Voice film critic Dennis Lim--talk about life in the review trade. Come hear them share anecdotes and tips about the craft of criticism.


Registered: Narratives of Internment and Detention

How post-9/11 are post-9/11 civil liberties? From WWII Japanese internment to recent round-ups of South Asians, internment has played a shadowed role in Asian American experience. Across generations and ethnicities, civilians found that the country they thought of as home had thought of them as enemies. A fascinating multi-disciplinary talk with documentary filmmaker Rea Tajiri, UC Davis professor Sunaina Maira, author of the newly released Missing: Youth, Citizenship, and Empire After 9/11, and novelist Julie When the Emperor was Divine Otsuka, whose grandfather was arrested by the FBI in 1941.

Plus, Jhumpa Lahiri will talk about her latest work Unaccustomed Earth.

The Asian American Literary Festival is organized by The Asian American Writers' Workshop, a nonprofit literary arts organization that was started in 1991 to promote and support writers, literature and community. The Asian American Writers' Workshop is located at 16 West 32nd St, Suite 10A, New York, NY 10001.


  1. Thank you for posting about this festival. I am going to try to get there this weekend. It sounds so interesting and I think I can get my husband to go! Hopefully the weather will cooperate and the rain will stay away!

  2. So many cool things happen in NY. Wish I were able to get there.