Authors Arif Anwar (The Storm), Amulya Malladi (The Copenhagen Affair), Manjushree Thapa (All of Us in Our Own Lives), and Rahul Varma (Truth and Treason) talk about their writing and how the South Asian community inspires their stories. This segment is moderated by Shree Paradkar.
At 4pm after a brief intermission, author Anirudh Bhattacharyya interviews new High Commissioner of India to Canada, Vikas Swarup. Swarup is an Indian writer and diplomat who formerly served as the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India. He wrote the book Q&A, which inspired the movie Slumdog Millionaire.
This event will be hosted by Teenaz Javat and was curated by Meenakshi Alimchandani.
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Arif Anwar was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, just miles from the Bay of Bengal. He previously worked for BRAC, one of the world’s largest non-governmental organizations, on issues of poverty alleviation, and for UNICEF Myanmar on public health issues. Arif has a PhD in Education from the University of Toronto. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife, Si (Sandra) Lian. The Storm is his first novel.
Anirudh Bhattacharyya is an author and senior journalist who has worked in print, television and digital media. Based in Toronto, he represents the Indian national daily, Hindustan Times, in Canada, and is also a columnist on North American affairs for the newspaper. He started his career in New Delhi and went on to cover national politics, internal security, and science and technology for various Indian publications. Before moving to Toronto, he was based in New York as a Senior Editor for the Indian media group Television Eighteen. His debut novel The Candidate was published in 2014.
By blood Indian, by bond Pakistani and by choice Canadian, Teenaz Javat is a senior writer on the Alert Desk at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto. She has worked in print, radio, TV and online in five newsrooms, across three counties in two continents in her 20-year career.
Amulya Malladi is the bestselling author of seven novels, including The Copenhagen Affair, A House for Happy Mothers, The Sound of Language and The Mango Season. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian and Tamil. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When she’s not writing, she works as a marketing executive. After several years in Copenhagen, she now lives outside Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Shree Paradkar is the Atkinson Fellow for 2018-2019, examining the urgent topic of equitable education. She is also the Toronto Star’s Race and Gender Columnist, tackling issues of discrimination and identity. Shree is the author of Betrayed: My cousin's wrongful conviction for the murder of her daughter, Aarushi. She is an international journalist who has worked in leading newsrooms in Toronto, Singapore, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Vikras Swarup, the High Commissioner of India to Canada, is also an award-winning author who has written three novels. His debut novel, Q&A, won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, in its cinematic adaptation as Slumdog Millionaire. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages. He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Literature and Philosophy from the University of South Africa. His wife Aparna is an artist and photographer. They have two sons.
Manjushree Thapa was born in Kathmandu and raised in Nepal, Canada and the United States. She has written eight books of fiction and non-fiction. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, London Review of Books, Newsweek, and The Globe and Mail. Her latest novel, All of Us in Our Own Lives, is set in the cynical, moneyed world of international aid in Nepal. She lives in Toronto. Visit manjushreethapa.com.
Rahul Varma is a playwright, artistic director of Teesri Duniya Theatre, and co-founder of alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage. He writes both in Hindi and English, a language he acquired as an adult. Some of his other plays include Land Where the Trees Talk, No Man’s Land, Trading Injuries (a radio drama) and Truth and Treason. His plays have been translated into French, Italian, Hindi and Punjabi. Rahul is the recipient of a special Juror’s Award from the Quebec Drama Federation, a Montreal English Critic’s Circle Award for promoting Interculturalism and the South Asian Theatre Festival Award.