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img_8473I recently got to spend an evening at Columbia University’s j-school moderating a conversation between novelists Hirsh Sawhney (author of South Haven) and Akhil Sharma (author, most recently, of Family Life) for the South Asian Journalists Association.  They’ve both written intensely dark books about death/loss and dysfunctional families, so I’m not sure why we’re all grinning ear to ear, but it was very nice to talk with them.

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Tomorrow night at The Greene Space, I’ll be hosting a conversation with three particularly brave and brilliant Muslim-American New Yorkers who have each made tremendous journeys– with their families, and alone; across the world, and deep into their own hearts.

Sadia Shepard is the author of The Girl from Foreign: A Memoir, in which she investigates her grandmother’s childhood among the Bene Israel, the small Jewish community she belonged to in Mumbai before converting to Islam when she married.

Comedian and performer Alaudin Ullah has been featured on HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, BET and PBS.  His one-man show “Dishwasher Dreams” is the story of how his father, a Bengali steamship worker, landed in New York in the 1920s.

Kenan Trebincevic was born in a town called Brcko in what today is Bosnia and Herzegovina to a Bosnian Muslim family in 1980.  He came to the United States in 1993 while his country was in the midst of war, went to college in Connecticut, and became an American citizen in 2001. He is the author of a memoir, The Bosnia List.  

UPDATE: Video of the event is now online! http://livestream.com/thegreenespace/events/4083076

10171194_10101691225457436_1695760793926855948_nThank you to everyone who came out to the Brooklyn Museum for a night of conversation with Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic in a Suitcase), Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest), Mark Chiusano (Marine Park: Stories) and Evan Hughes (Panic in a Suitcase)!  It was fantastic to see WNYC join forces with the Brooklyn Book Festival.

UPDATE: The audio from the full event is now online here: http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/brooklyn-bound-writing-kings-county/