Tuesday, 1:00 pm EST January 26, 2021
Avni Doshi joins Emily Temple (The Lightness) in conversation about her debut novel Burnt Sugar, which received international acclaim, earned her NPR’s Best Book of 2020, and made the 2020 Booker Prize short-list. Set in India, the book examines love and betrayal between a mother and daughter, tied to each other through shifting, subjective memories of their mutual history.
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Avni Doshi was born in New Jersey. She received her BA in art history from Barnard College and her MA in history of art at University College, London. While working as an art writer and curator in India, Avni began writing fiction. She has been awarded the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize and a Charles Pick Fellowship. Her debut novel, Burnt Sugar, was longlisted for the prestigious Tata Literature Live! First Book Award upon its publication in India and was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize in Fiction. Avni Doshi currently lives in Dubai with her family.
Emily Temple was born in Syracuse, New York. She earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns fellow and the recipient of a Henfield Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Colorado Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Indiana Review, Fairy Tale Review, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is Managing Editor at Literary Hub. The Lightness is her first novel.
By Avni Doshi
Published by Abrams Books
In her youth, Tara was wild. She abandoned her marriage to join an ashram, and while Tara is busy as a partner to the ashram’s spiritual leader, Baba, little Antara is cared for by an older devotee, Kali Mata, an American who came to the ashram after a devastating loss. Tara also embarks on a stint as a beggar (mostly to spite her affluent parents) and spends years chasing a disheveled, homeless artist, all with young Antara in tow. But now Tara is forgetting things, and Antara is an adult—an artist and married—and must search for a way to make peace with a past that haunts her as she confronts the task of caring for a woman who never cared for her.
By Emily Temple
Published by William Morrow
One year ago, the person Olivia adores most in the world, her father, left home for a meditation retreat in the mountains and never returned. Yearning to make sense of his shocking departure and to escape her overbearing mother—a woman as grounded as her father is mercurial—Olivia runs away from home and retraces his path to a place known as the Levitation Center.
Once there, she enrolls in their summer program for troubled teens, which Olivia refers to as “Buddhist Boot Camp for Bad Girls.” Soon, she finds herself drawn into the company of a close-knit trio of girls determined to transcend their circumstances, by any means necessary. Led by the elusive and beautiful Serena, and her aloof, secretive acolytes, Janet and Laurel, the girls decide this is the summer they will finally achieve enlightenment—and learn to levitate, to defy the weight of their bodies, to experience ultimate lightness.
But as desire and danger intertwine, and Olivia comes ever closer to discovering what a body—and a girl—is capable of, it becomes increasingly clear that this is an advanced and perilous practice, and there’s a chance not all of them will survive. Set over the course of one fateful summer that unfolds like a fever dream, The Lightness juxtaposes fairy tales with quantum physics, cognitive science with religious fervor, and the passions and obsessions of youth with all of these, to explore concepts as complex as faith and as simple as loving people—even though you don’t, and can’t, know them at all..
45:15 Online: A Communal Writing Experience
Saturday, 2:00 pm EST - 3:15 pm EST January 23, 2021
Page to Screen: The Midnight Sky with Lily Brooks-Dalton, Mark L. Smith, Grant Heslov, and Anna Pitoniak
Thursday, 6:30 pm EST January 28, 2021
Story/Teller: Truly Like Lightning with David Duchovny and Jess Walter$30
Tuesday, 7:30 pm EST February 2, 2021
Story/Teller: Wild Swims with Dorthe Nors, Merritt Wever, and Brigid Hughes
Wednesday, 6:00 pm EST February 3, 2021
Story/Teller: We Run the Tides with Vendela Vida, Heidi Julavits and Marin Ireland
Wednesday, 7:30 pm EST February 10, 2021
Walking with Ghosts with Gabriel Byrne and Lily King$30
Thursday, 7:30 pm EST February 11, 2021
Moms Make Time to Read with Zibby Owens
Wednesday, 7:30 pm EST February 17, 2021
The Art of the Short Story: Dantiel W. Moniz and Jamel Brinkley
Thursday, 7:30 pm EST February 18, 2021
How Do We Imagine the Future of Translator Collectives?
Thursday, 7:00 pm EST February 18, 2021
Véronique Tadjo Launches In the Company of Men with Kwame Anthony Appiah
Tuesday, 5:00 pm EST February 23, 2021
On America: Climate Writing with Elizabeth Kolbert, Madeleine Watts, and Leslie Jamison
Wednesday, 7:30 pm EST February 24, 2021
Lisa Zeidner on Who Says?: Mastering Point of View in Fiction with Ron Charles
Wednesday, 7:30 pm EST March 17, 2021
Where Does Translation End and Co-Translation Begin?
Thursday, 7:00 pm EST March 18, 2021
Nicola DeRobertis-Theye Launches The Vietri Project with Ruchika Tomar
Thursday, 7:30 pm EST March 25, 2021