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Bombay Oregon Chapter_Baker.pdf

“Sandesh, Smriti, & Rishi”, Chapter from Bombay, Oregon Framed with the gathering of a grieving family of working-class Gujaratis in light of the death of their mentally-ill eldest brother, this novel-in-stories follows the stories of his remaining siblings and the people they’ve intersected with — a librarian who is arrested after racial profiling, a motel owner in the deep South, a young budding chef on the spectrum, and others — as each tries to build a new life while falling prey to the socio-economic precarities of living as an immigrant in America. This chapter does not need any contextual information. With the novel, I hope to recreate the feeling of families sharing anecdotal tales over chai, while unable to reconcile the fraught lives lived behind them, for sake of enjoying the moment.

Genres/Keywords: multigenerational family, social novel, immigrant, working-class

Comp Titles: Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi), 99 Nights in Logar (Jamil Jan Kochai) 

PDF icon Bombay Oregon Chapter_Baker.pdf

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About Aditya

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

Aditya Desai is a South Asian American writer, editor, teacher, and literary programmer living in Baltimore. He's served on the mastheads of Guernica, South Asian Avant-Garde Anthology, Atticus Review, and Hyphen Magazine. He currently is the literary programmer with Maryland Humanities and has worked with the CityLit Project, Baltimore Youth Arts, and the Asian Pasifika Arts Collective. His stories and essays in literary publications and magazines including Taco Bell Quarterly... more

Sangam (Novel), First Three Chapters

Opening three chapters of novel in progress, SANGAM For Indian American DJ Amar, music is his gateway to two things: girls and social cache. In college, he bands with Iranian Americans Erfan and Dalia to create a new sound of the brown millennial diaspora. While Erfan’s success grows and Dalia abates his affections, he’s stuck gigging across small-time clubs and weddings. As his obsession grows, he turns to his grandfather’s record of an old Sufi ghazal -- the backstory of which crosses both 13th century and post-Partition India, revealing to us the missing streams of a cultural and personal history of the subcontinent that have met at the confluence of his life.

Currently shopping novel to agents.

Genres/Keywords: Bildungsroman, historical, triptych, music

Comp titles: 99 Nights in Logar (Jamil Jan Kochai), Compass (Mathias Enard), Londonstani (Gautam Malkani)

  • Sangam_First 3 Chapters_Baker.pdf

    Opening three chapters of novel in progress, SANGAM

    For Indian American DJ Amar, music is his gateway to two things: girls and social cache. In college, he bands with Iranian Americans Erfan and Dalia to create a new sound of the brown millennial diaspora. While Erfan’s success grows and Dalia abates his affections, he’s stuck gigging across small-time clubs and weddings. As his obsession grows, he turns to his grandfather’s record of an old Sufi ghazal -- the backstory of which crosses both 13th century and post-Partition India, revealing to us the missing streams of a cultural and personal history of the subcontinent that have met at the confluence of his life.

    Genres/Keywords: Bildungsroman, historical, triptych, music

    Comp titles: 99 Nights in Logar (Jamil Jan Kochai), Compass (Mathias Enard), Londonstani (Gautam Malkani)

    PDF icon Sangam_First 3 Chapters_Baker.pdf

Terminus - Novel Excerpt of "Terminus"

 Excerpt published in B O D Y Magazine.

Terminus 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 for a wrongful conviction. Their lives are intertwined by the construction of a new metro line in Baltimore – for Ashok and his wife, this is a new lease on their snatched American dream; for Abdi, a growing sense of local activism to protect his community. The novel crosses the suburbs and inner-city neighborhoods, highlighting fractures of race, gentrification and daily human struggle.

The ideas for this novel began before the Freddie Gray Uprisings in 2015, and in the aftermath as it’s issues have become more prominent. I am keenly interested in getting feedback at how it addresses issues of race to make sure I am writing ethically and responsibly. Genres/Keywords: social novel, criminal justice, gentrification Comp titles: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Deepa Annapara), Lucky Boy (Shanti Sekaran), The Leavers (Lisa Ko) Current draft: 4

The Cost of Doing Business - Essay

A creative essay written in response to the February 2017 shootings in Olathe, KS where a white xenophobe targeted two Indian men he believed to be Iranians, killing one. Published originally in The Rumpus, September 2017:

http://therumpus.net/2017/09/the-cost-of-doing-business/

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Aditya's Curated Collection

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