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Work Samples

BendInTheTrack_selected chapters_AdityaDesai.pdf

Selected chapters from second novel-in-progress an untitled piece that follows two characters: Ashok, an Indian immigrant grieving from the loss of his son, and Abdi, an African-American trying to reintegrate to society after release from prison. Their lives are intertwined by the construction of a new metro line in Baltimore. The novel crosses the suburbs and inner-city neighborhoods, highlighting fractures of race, gentrification and daily human struggle. I started the novel before Freddie Gray. Now at two-thirds completion before, I’ve been constantly re-envisioning in response. Published selections are posted below in "Projects" as marked novel excerpts.
PDF icon BendInTheTrack_selected chapters_AdityaDesai.pdf

Sangam_First 3 Chapters_Aditya Desai.pdf

Sangam is a tale of a ghazal song that connects three men across generations, whose lives begin to echo one another to feed a complete tale of how music drives our minds and our hearts. In medieval India, the poet Khusrow arrives at the ruins of a ransacked temple where, stricken by thoughts of his fantasy lover, he begins penning new ghazal lyrics. In 1948, young lawyer Jayant hears these lyrics from a courtesan who captures his soul. But he is stuck with a job and family that puts him at a moral crossroads against his newly independent nation. In present day America, aspiring disc jockeys Amar and Erfan find a recording of the ghazal. Amar hopes it will help him get notice in the city’s club scene, as well as Erfan’s beautiful sister. There is a full draft of the novel, as I completed for my MFA thesis draft, and after taking some time on other projects, I've revived recent interest and am revising.
PDF icon Sangam_First 3 Chapters_Aditya Desai.pdf

Did Serial Fail South Asian Americans? - Essay

In response to the first season of Serial following the case of Adnan Syed, I consider if the podcast fell short in examining Baltimore's South Asian diaspora, where both Adnan and I grew up. In an era of heightened discussion on race, this seemed a critically overlooked factor the show's wild popularity could have advanced the conversation in.

Published in The Aerogram, 12/14/2015.
http://theaerogram.com/serial-fail-south-asian-americans/

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About Aditya

Baltimore County

Aditya Desai's stories and essays have been featured by The Kartika Review, The Aerogram, Quartz, The Mandala Journal, and other publications, as well as the Smithsonian Institute's Asian Pacific American Center. He received his MFA from the University of Maryland and has taught creative writing at... more

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