Books & Literature

Alisha Rai’s “While You Were Dreaming” Takes Teen Girls Seriously

February 26, 2024

Alisha Rai’s YA romance While You Were Dreaming brings all the best parts of the veteran romance author’s love stories to a brand new audience. Rai’s debut in the young adult space riffs off the 90s rom-com While You Were Sleeping and follows the story of hardworking high schooler Sonia Patil. Sonia’s life takes an … Read More

Taymour Soomro Explores Violent Desires in “Other Names for Love”

February 13, 2024

In Taymour Soomro’s debut novel Other Names for Love, violence lives in every detail. It traces the story of 16-year-old Fahad, whose father takes him from Karachi to their wealthy rural family estate to toughen him up. Once there, Fahad grows close to Ali, the brutish son of his father’s friend. In this tale of … Read More

“Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons of India” Gives Ghouls a Face

October 27, 2023

Covering over a million square miles, India is home to the full range of cryptids, malevolent spirits, and fiends. Rakesh Khanna and J. Furcifer Bhairav catalog them in their new illustrated encyclopedia “Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons of India.” Though shaggy in the storytelling and often lacking in spookiness, “Ghosts” provides one of the first comprehensive … Read More

“Letters to a Writer of Color” Offers Examples Not Judgements

March 14, 2023

In 2021, Priya Krishna asked “why do American grocery stores still have an ethnic food aisle?” The righteous anger of those interviewed underlined the main feeling of the piece: an ethnic food aisle is too small and too limiting for modern tastes. It is a racist conceit that smashes those cultures considered “ethnic” together while … Read More

Fatimah Asghar’s “When We Were Sisters” Is About the Bonds That Tie

October 18, 2022

Poet, screenwriter, and now debut author Fatimah Asghar follows the release of their highly-acclaimed poetry collection If They Come For Us with their new novel When We Were Sisters, out this week. Focusing on the lives of three orphaned Muslim American sisters, and told from the perspective of the youngest Kausar, When We Were Sisters … Read More

Pulling the Veil Off Arranged Marriage in “The Newlyweds”

October 12, 2022

Arranged marriage casts a long shadow over South Asian culture. As a way to maintain religious barriers, caste affiliation, socioeconomic standing, and patriarchal standards, it seems like a vestige of history. We might like to think the tradition of arranged marriage, and its satellite concerns like dowry and honor killings, might simply die out with … Read More

“In Sensorium” Takes Readers on a Journey Through Scent

July 28, 2022

Perfume was a hallmark of the millennial teen magazine. Teen Vogue and Seventeen had us experimenting with scents that offered teasers of womanly sophistication. Playing dress-up with fragrance samples was enough–adulthood held the certainty of tasteful routine. And flipping through issues months or years later, long past “top ten nail polish shades to try now!” … Read More

Dystopia Hits Close to Home in “The Immortal King Rao”

May 13, 2022

In the mid-1900s, a Dalit boy named King is born to coconut farmers in a rural Indian village; over a century later, his daughter is accused of his murder as a society built upon his inventions hurtles toward climate catastrophe. In The Immortal King Rao, author Vauhini Vara weaves a fascinating narrative filling in what … Read More

Ifti Nasim’s “Myrmecophile” Twenty Years Later

March 30, 2022

From simply looking at the cover photo of Myrmecophile, Ifti Nasim makes it clear that he is not here to hide any part of himself. The first image we have of him is a playful, subversive snapshot where he is decked out in full drag, donning a blonde wig, costume jewelry, pearls, and bangles. He … Read More

The “Tirukkural” and the Wisdom of Ancient Uncles

February 4, 2022

On a small island off the southernmost tip of India, a statue of the poet known only as Tiruvalluvar stands staring out at the confluence of two seas and one ocean. The statue is 133 feet high, symbolic of the 133 chapters that make up the 2000-year-old Tirukkural, a meditation on ethics, government, and the … Read More

Next Posts »