Writing Across Cultures: Immigration, Identity, and Belonging

Wednesday May 1, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event


Grants entry for 1 plus $10 voucher towards any purchase at our bookstore.

Award-winning authors Karan Mahajan (The Association of Small Bombs) and Suketu Mehta (Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found) join debut author Jennifer Acker (The Limits of the World) in a conversation about home, family, country, and craft. Moderated by Miwa Messer.


JENNIFER ACKER is founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Common. She is the author of Limits of the World (Delphinium). Her short stories, essays, criticism, and translations have been published in the Washington Post, n+1, Guernica, Slate, and Ploughshares, among other places. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches at Amherst College. She has received writing fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and Ledig House/Writers OMI.

KARAN MAHAJAN grew up in New Delhi, India and moved to the US for college. His first novel, Family Planning (2008), was a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. It was published in nine countries. His second novel, The Association of Small Bombs (2016), was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Awards and was named one of the "10 Best Books of 2016" by The New York Times. Karan's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker Online, The New Republic and other venues.

An assistant professor at Brown University, he is currently a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. He is also the recipient of the 2019 Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer's Prize, "awarded annually to young writers of proven excellence in poetry or prose."

SUKETU MEHTA is the New York-based author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, which won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, the Lettre Ulysses Prize, the BBC4 Samuel Johnson Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. He has won the Whiting Writers’ Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. Mehta’s work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Time, and Newsweek, and has been featured on NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ and ‘All Things Considered.’

Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. His book about global migration, This Land is Our Land, will be published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in June 2019. He is also working on a nonfiction book about immigrants in contemporary New York, for which he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.

Mehta has written original screenplays for films, including New York, I Love You. Mehta was born in Calcutta and raised in Bombay and New York. He is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

MIWA MESSER is the Director of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, which was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality from writers early in their careers.