Saginaw Valley State University is hosting award-winning author Samrat Upadhyay for this year's Visiting Scholars and Artists Series. His lecture titled “Celebrating Gratitude: An Ode to the Forces that Make a Writer,” will be presented Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Upadhyay has written six novels and short story collections dealing with social, political and religious issues pertaining to Nepali culture. His novels include “Arresting God in Kathmandu,” which explores desire and spirituality in the face of a swiftly modernizing Nepal; “The Guru of Love”, centered on a love triangle connected to an arranged marriage; “Buddha’s Orphans,” a Nepali love story that illustrates how history haunts the present, and “The City Son,” which pursues themes of family struggle, desire, and betrayal.
Currently a professor of humanities at Indiana University, Upadhyay completed a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Hawaii. He is the recipient of a large number of distinguished awards, including San Francisco Chronicle Best Book, Washington Post Best of Fiction, the Asian American Literary Award, and the Whiting Writers’ Award, among others.
During his visit, Upadhyay will also participate in a joint presentation with the 2015 recipient of SVSU’s Gross Award for Literature, Sally Howell, coordinated by the South Asian Student Association. Howell is the author of “Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past,” which looks at the development of Muslim communities in Detroit since the first mosque was established in 1893.
Their lecture to area high school and college students will be Friday, Oct. 28. Upadhyay will also attend an international book fair and a South Asian food fair on that date.
The Dow Visiting Scholars & Artists program at SVSU was established through an endowment from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our region’s cultural and intellectual opportunities. The series will run during both the fall and winter semesters and is part of SVSU’s community-minded mission to bring leading scholars to campus and share their insights with residents of the Great Lakes Bay Region.
For more information on the lectures, please contact the SVSU box office at (989) 964-4348.