South Asian Literature and Art Festival
October 29–30, 2022
Montalvo Arts Center
15400 Montalvo Road
A two-day, multidisciplinary event featuring presentations and panels by more than 40 highly-acclaimed local, national, and international authors and artists covering a variety of topics.
The South Asian Literature and Art Festival (SALA) aims to contribute to the literary and cultural life of the residents of Silicon Valley. The 2022 event focuses on a theme of “Humanity” by examining how the world tends to put people in boxes, categorizing and generalizing communities of different color, class, gender, and caste. The forums and conversations will examine and celebrate different points of view, while also recognizing that ultimately, it is a shared humanity that triumphs.
This expertly-curated event will represent South Asian culture to a broad Bay Area audience, providing a platform to spark engagement between distinguished authors and the diverse audiences of Silicon Valley, many of whom may have had little opportunity to experience the talent and voices coming out of South Asia and its diaspora.
Discussions will take place in venues around Montalvo’s historic Villa and property, and visitors can also enjoy book sales and author signings presented by Books, Inc., a marketplace, children’s craft activities, dance, music, poetry, and painting. Food will be available for purchase, and a bar will offer beer, wine, and soda.
SALA is presented by Art Forum SF and Montalvo Arts Center in partnership with the Stanford University Center for South Asian Studies and the UC Berkeley Institute of South Asian Studies.
October 29th (Saturday ONLY) $30
October 30th ( Sunday ONLY) $30
Two-Day Pass ( Sat-Sun) $50
Pulitzer Prize winner playwright and novelist.
Author of the popular trilogy The Henna Artists
Originally from New Delhi, Ajay Walia is committed to changing the perception of Indian food in Western culture. His first restaurant, Saffron Indian Bistro, has enjoyed 20 years of success serving traditional North Indian Cuisine in San Carlos. His second restaurant, Rasa, in Burlingame, won a Michelin star within two years of opening.
Amit Majmudar is a novelist, poet, translator, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist.
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is a Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island and contemporary artist.
Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions 2015) and the short story collection A New Race of Men from Heaven, which won the Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction
Chitrita Banerji is a bengali-american writer. She uses both fiction and nonfiction to examine the relationships between memory, history, culture, religion, and food. She is the author of several books on the food and culture of her native India,
Daisy Rockwell is a painter and translator of Hindi and Urdu literature, living in northern New England. Shd along with Gitanjali Shri have won the booker prize for the novel Tomb of Stone
Devi S. Laskar is the author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues, winner of 7th annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize (2020) for best debut novel set in the South, winner of the 2020 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature & finalist for the Northern California Book awards. Her second novel, Circa was published May 3, 2022, by Mariner Books. Her third novel, Midnight, At The War will be published by Mariner in early 2024.
Hetal Vasavada is a Bay Area-based cookbook author and blogger at Milk and Cardamom. Her recipes have been featured in New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and more. Her cookbook was named one of the best cookbooks of 2019 by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. In addition to blogging and writing, she owns an online bakery called Milk and Cardamom Sweets where you can buy her delicious Indian-inspired baked goods.
Jaishri Abichandani (she/her; b. 1969, Bombay, India) immigrated to New York City in 1984. She received her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London and has continued to intertwine studio and social practice, art and activism in her career, founding the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) in New York (1997) and London (2004). Abichandani has exhibited internationally including a mid career survey at the Craft Contemporary Museum in Los Angeles in 2022.
Jenny Bhatt is a writer, literary translator, and book critic. She is the founder of Desi Books, and teaches creative writing at Writing Workshops Dallas and the PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship Program. Her story collection, Each of Us Killers: Stories won a 2020 Foreword INDIES award. Her literary translation, Ratno Dholi: Dhumketu’s Best Short Stories was shortlisted for the 2021 PFC-VoW Book Awards. One of her short stories was included in The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Kausar Ahmed is a chef instructor, recipe developer, food consultant, food stylist, entrepreneur and author with over 35 years of experience in culinary arts and education.
Madhushree Ghosh’s debut food narrative memoir, KHABAAR: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory, and Family was published by the University of Iowa Press (@uiowapress) in April 2022. Hailed by Ms Magazine as a ‘Most Anticipated Read for the Rest of Us in 2022’, a Chicago Review of Books: 12 Must-Read Books of April, a Phenomenal Books Must Read Memoir (2022) as well as a Brown Girl Bookshelf and Cold Tea Collective must-read 2022 memoir,
Neeta Mittal is the first Indian women to own a winery in the US, Her wine, “LXV”, has its roots in the sixty-four sutras from our vedas - music, dance, architecture, feng shui, et al - that weave the rich fabric of Indian culture. The story of her wine is the 65th sutra.
Nik Sharma is the best-selling cookbook author, photographer, and writer behind A Brown Table, an award-winning blog. Season, his first cookbook was a James Beard Foundation and IACP Awards finalist and his second cookbook, The Flavor Equation is a finalist for the IACP and The U.K. Guild of Food Writers award finalist and was also named Book of The Year by Delicious. Nik lives in Los Angeles, California.
Acclaimed chef, author and speaker Chef Preeti Mistry is honored to have been twice nominated by the James Beard Foundation as "Best Chef of the West" 2017 & 2018.
Chef Ranjan of New Delhi Restaurant is also the creator of New World Spices, a special blend of six different spices inspired by the favorite dishes of three kings and three queens from six different regions of ancient India. And Ranjan’s other delicious creation, New Delhi Restaurant has been consistently voted the best Indian Restaurant in the Bay Area over the last 33 years.
Ranu Mukherjee makes hybrid work with painting, moving images, and installation to build new imaginative capacities, drawing on collage, feminist science fiction, and Indian mythological images. Recent honors include a Lucas Visual Arts Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center (2019-2022), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2020), and a residency at 18th Street Arts Center Los Angeles (2022). Her first monograph, 'Shadowtime,' was published in September 2021, with Gallery Wendi Norris.
Rahul lives in California, retired from a lifetime in the high-tech industry, trying to figure out what he is going to do when he grows up. Memories of time spent with old friends and total strangers fuel his writing. He is currently working on a collection of short stories.
Salil Tripathi was born in Bombay, India and lives in New York. He is a contributing editor at the Caravan and wrote a column for 14 years at Mint before it ended in 2022. He chaired PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee from 2015 to 2021 and is now a member of its board. Between 2009 and 2013, he was on the board of English PEN, where he co-chaired English PEN’s Writers-at-Risk Committee (with novelist Kamila Shamsie).
Ahmad’s artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums, cultural centers, and galleries throughout the United States and internationally.Ahmad’s public art projects were sponsored by the Regional One Hospital in Memphis; the Greenwood Art Project in Tulsa; the Metro Nashville Arts Commission; and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Shikha Malaviya, curator of SALA poetry, is an Indian American poet, writer, and publisher. She is co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship model press publishing powerful voices from India & the Indian diaspora. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in Catamaran, PLUME, Prairie Schooner & other fine publications. Shikha has been a featured TEDx speaker and was selected as Poet Laureate of San Ramon, California
Sonia Chopra is the executive editor at Bon Appétit and Epicurious, where she helps lead content and strategy across platforms for both brands.
Siddharth is a prolific writer of poetry and fiction, and holds a Master’s degree in critical comparative scriptures. He lives in California immersed in his study of ancient texts and mythologies, the search for planets in outer space, and a lifelong practice of Tae Kwon Do. He is currently working on a collection of poems.
Sorayya Khan is the author of We Take Our Cities with Us: A Memoir (The Ohio State University Press 2022), and three novels, Noor (Penguin India 2004) Five Queen’s Road (Penguin India 2009), and City of Spies (Little A 2017) which received the Best International Fiction Book Award, Sharjah International Book Fair, 2015.
Swara Bhasker is an award-winning Indian actress in the Hindi Film Industry popularly known as Bollywood.
Dr. Suraj Yengde is one of India's leading scholars and public intellectuals. Author of bestseller Caste Matters and co-editor of award winning anthology The Radical in Ambedkar.
TM Krishna, one of the pre-eminent vocalists in the rigorous Karnatik tradition of India's classical music. As a public intellectual, Krishna speaks and writes about issues affecting the human condition and about matters cultural.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a Dalit American transmedia artist, technologist, and futurist. She is the author of Trauma of Caste. Currently, Thenmozhi is the co-founder and Executive Director of Equality Labs. Equality Labs is one the largest Dalit civil rights organization working to empower caste-oppressed people in the US and globally
An award winning author whose latest book is Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty. He has also written the novels Sacred Games and Red Earth and Pouring Rain, and the short story collection Love and Longing in Bombay. He was an executive producer on the Netflix adaptation of Sacred Games, an international hit that was included in The New York Times' list of the 30 best international shows of the decade.
Zuni Chopra is a 21-year old Indian author based in California. She has published three collections of poetry and short stories and one novel, The House That Spoke. She is currently studying Creative Writing and Film as an undergraduate student at Stanford University. She is particularly interested in the genres of fantasy and magical realism. When not at university, she lives in Mumbai with her family and their eleven dogs (and one cat).
Curator of the poetry section at SALA. Shikha Malaviya is an Indian American poet, writer, and publisher. She is co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship model press publishing powerful voices from India & the Indian diaspora. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize
Poet and Author