S4 Ep. 24: Obama Era Redux: Nawaaz Ahmed on Islam, Sexuality, Politics, and Publishing His First Novel


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Writer Nawaaz Ahmed joins co-host V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss his debut novel, Radiant Fugitives, in this special live episode of the show held with Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, Washington. Ahmed’s book, set in California against the backdrop of Obama-era politics, explores how differences in faith and sexuality affect an Indian Muslim family when two estranged sisters—one a doctor more religiously observant than their parents, the other a political organizer who is lapsed, queer, recently divorced, and newly pregnant—reunite to support their ill mother. Ahmed also discusses his career shift from computer science to fiction, his decision to identify as a gay writer, and how these changes have strengthened his position as an activist.

To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video excerpts from our interviews at LitHub’s Virtual Book Channel and Fiction/Non/Fiction’s YouTube Channel, and don't miss our brand-new website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/

This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

Selected readings:

Nawaaz Ahmed


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