Book Reading 2013

Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle – Sunday, May 12th – 12:15 PM

You are Michelangelo… and you are David! by Shahana Dattagupta

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Shahana Dattagupta writes, acts, paints, sings, and consults in design and communication strategy…primarily in Seattle. She also speaks on and coaches creativity in various parts of the U.S., working with individuals and groups ranging from four to a hundred, most recently in a national forum for education experts. Her previous books are Ten Avatars and Thrive! Falling in Love with Life. She also co-edits the monthly magazine Courageous Creativity.

Synopsis of You are Michelangelo… and you are David!

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Springing from the premise that creativity is our true nature and communion with Spirit, YOU ARE MICHELANGELO…AND YOU ARE DAVID! presents concrete ideas and actions for the intentioned and disciplined practice of creativity, with implications for creating both oneself and physical works of meaning and value for this world. In this book, Shahana Dattagupta explores creativity not merely a nice-to-have workplace skill or the exclusive forte of inventors and artists, but as the very soul-purpose for each and every one of us, as our responsibility towards expressing full human potential, and as the way to transcend fearful survival to create a loving, thriving existence for oneself, for all humanity, and for the planet. Discover how your creative projects and initiatives in the world are really playgrounds and construction sites for the creation of you! Explore how you unconsciously create yourself and your life merely by the stories you tell, and how you can completely transform yourself and your life by shifting from fear-driven re-action to Love-inspired action. And learn how to practice your creativity by calling into action and integration its Yin and Yang principles. Buy the book.

Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest by Amy Bhatt and Nalini Iyer

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Amy Bhatt is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Language, Literacy and Culture Program, and an advisory board member of the Asian Studies Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She completed her B.A from Emory University and her PhD from the University of Washington’s Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Her research and teaching focus on the effects of migration on gender and families, transnational community formation and South Asian diasporas.  She is the co-author of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest with Nalini Iyer, which was published by the University of Washington Press in 2013 and served as the oral historian for the University of Washington Libraries’ South Asian Oral History Project from 2006-2011. She has also written for Little India, The Huffington Post, India Abroad,and The Root,and has worked on gender policy and advocacy issues in Washington, DC and Seattle.  She is currently working on a manuscript based on her dissertation research entitled “At Home in Globalization: Social Reproduction, Transnational Migration, and the Circulating Indian Household,” which is a cultural study of how Indian workers negotiate family, friendship, love and national belonging in the context of short-term migration. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband Kevin Bromer. To learn more, visit

Synopsis of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest

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Immigrants from South Asia first began settling in Washington and Oregon in the nineteenth century, but because of restrictions placed on Asian immigration to the United States in the early twentieth century, the vast majority have come to the region since World War II. Roots and Reflections uses oral history to show how South Asian immigrant experiences were shaped by the region and how they differed over time and across generations. It includes the stories of immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka who arrived from the end of World War II through the 1980s.

Personal stories combine with historical, media, and popular culture accounts to illuminate themes of departure and arrival, gender relations, education, work, marriage, parenting, ties with the home country, and community building. By exploring the local Pacific Northwest dimension of a global immigrant phenomena, this important study deconstructs stereotypes and cultural assumptions made by non-South Asians and South Asians alike.

Amy Bhatt is assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Nalini Iyer is professor of English at Seattle University.

Foreign by Sonora Jha

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Sonora Jha was born in India, where she had a successful career as a journalist in Mumbai and Bangalore before moving to Singapore and then the United States to earn a Ph.D. in Political Communication. She is now a professor of journalism and the Chair of the Department of Communication at Seattle University. Her first novel, Foreign, has sprung from her work as a journalist, an academic, and a creative writer. Sonora lives in Seattle.

Synopsis of Foreign

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In a village in India, a forsaken man is about to kill himself in quiet despair. A million miles away, Katya Misra is celebrating a perfect evening in her fine, academic life in Seattle . . . until she is informed that her teenaged son Kabir has run away to India in search of a father he has never met. Contemptuous of her homeland and determined to bring Kabir back where he belongs, Katya must follow her son into the home of a suicidal farmer, in a village where, every eight hours, a man kills himself. Here, as Kabir’s father inspires his son with his selfless social work, Katya finds an ally in the farmer’s wife Gayatribai, who saves Kabir’s life by damaging her own, and in return asks for Katya’s help in keeping her husband alive in the suicide epidemic that has gripped this treacherously changing nation.

Whipped up in a world of violent protest rallies, mass weddings, inglorious suicides, and a love that demands to be rekindled, Katya must learn whose life can be saved and whose she should just let go.