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Writers Archived
 

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For current posts, please click here

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WRITERS

* Gwendolyn Scotton Bethea

* Dorothy Phaire

* Grace Virtue

* Frans Johansson

* Gaurav Suri

* Chaman Nahal

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A Mother's Strength and Gentle Spirit

by

Gwendolyn Scotton Bethea

Lina Bernice Rivers Scotton was a devoted mother, a loving wife, and a loyal friend.  Lina was also a sensitive writer/poet who believed that her life could have been much more fulfilled under different circumstances.    She said on more than one occasion that she might have wanted to be a nurse or teacher.  Perhaps, had she lived in a different era, she could have been a writer of some renown.  Lina was my beloved mother.

Mother spent her early childhood on her uncle's farm and knew how to herd cows to and from pasteur, which she did with her cousin, Clara.  She would recall many years later, as we sat at the kitchen counter of our family home drinking tea, that this was a part of her childhood that was both precious and difficult.  It was precious because she and her younger siblings and mother had the opportunity to share wonderful memories with Grandmother's brother and his family on their farm. She still remembered calling the cow, Nell, to catch up with the other cows as they grazed on the expansive farm land. 

Yet, as mother would recount, times were difficult because after moving from the farm, her mother worked long hours as a cook in the home of a white woman to provide for them.  It was there that Mom met Dad, whose mother was working as a maid for the same woman. Dad was about 18 and Mom about 15.  They married at the young ages of 21 and 18, respectively.   I am the sixth child of nine siblings, five girls and four boys.  Mom and Dad were strong advocates for their children getting a good education so that our lives would be better than their lives. In our immediate family, there are two lawyers, four teachers, a business entrepreneur, and one writer/editor -- me. One brother, who passed away last year, was a veteran of the armed forces. 

Mother was an avid reader.  She loved to read everything from Reader's Digest and the daily newspaper to the books that her girls brought home from school and from the local library.   She once told me that these kinds of books were not available to her as a child-- books like Honey Jane and Susan and Arabella Pioneers.  Perhaps that's where she first developed her love for reading and writing and her appreciation for the particular social and political nuances that dotted the landscape of southern life.   And perhaps it was in reading and writing that she found balm for whatever hardships she and Dad faced with their growing family, even as she expressed her thoughts about the deeper meanings of life.  

To Mom's great joy, our brother, Ted, won an oratorical contest in grade school by reciting a poem that she gave him to learn, which both she and Ted recited up until her last years on this earth.  The title of the poem was the "The House with Nobody In It" by Joyce Kilmer.  Mom helped me to find just the right conclusion to my high school co-valedictory speech (I was the first black co-valedictorian or valedictorian of an integrated school, of which we were aware, in our home state of North Carolina).  She gave me the last lines of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Lives of Great Men All Remind Us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time

Unfortunately, Mom was ill on the night of my graduation from high school and did not get to hear me recite my speech.  She would often proudly remind me that it was she who had shared with me the lines that concluded one of the most important speeches of my life.    Later, my youngest sister Gail would excel in the same high school as an actress in plays such as Fiddler on the Roof, which utterly delighted Mom, Dad, and the entire local and surrounding communities, particularly the black community.  Back in the early sixties, blacks and whites were just getting used to going to school together, much less enjoying the arts in the same gymnasium.  (By the way Gail was the school's first black student council president).  

So throughout the years that were tempered with the joys and trials of motherhood and being the wife of a church pastor ( Dad was a faithful pastor for more than 40 years),   my mother wrote.  She wrote about the thrashing seas upon the shores of life.  She wrote of her children going off to college, until the last one, the youngest, left the "nest" and left her broken hearted.   She wrote of Dad returning home from work as they began the next phase of their lives together -- a period that would last for 52 more years, until at the 70th year anniversary of their marriage, Dad passed at the age of 91. On her 84th birthday on January 5, 2004, my mother's girls went home to celebrate with her.  After only the slightest of urgings from her daughters, Mother dressed in her black evening pants suit with jewels dancing merrily about the top.   Seated in a high-backed arm chair in the family den, she listened as each of her girls read her poetry to her.   A sweet, slowly gathering smile appeared on her unlined face to light up the room -- as bright and warming as the lights from the flickering fireplace.  Mom   looked regal and peaceful, but most of all pleased that, yes --- she had accomplished something of decided value in her lifetime.   Regardless to what my mother   might have been or could have been, she shared with her children a love for the deeper, unfathomable things that make life beautiful and worth living.

At 88, my mother passed away, only three months after Dad.  With great passion, Gail read some of her poetry and prose at the home going service.  We were transfixed into Mom’s world for one final moment.

To My Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren
I have tried to instill in you a love for God, the strength to overcome the many obstacles that you will encounter, to always seek and find a way to continue on the right path, to have a spirit of forgiveness and not of hate.  Always remember that to fail is not a reason to give up, but a challenge to try again.  Always believe things will be better tomorrow, no matter how dark they seem today.

Linda Bernice Scotton

Lina Bernice Rivers Scotton, 1918-2006

Gwendolyn S. Bethea, Ph.D., is director of communications and expository writing at the Howard University Graduate School.   She is also a freelance editor and writer and the editor of this website, www.diversitydiscover.com.  The piece above is an excerpt from her manuscript: Memories:  The Story of an African-American Family

 

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Dorothy Phaire is a novelist, playwright and college professor whose novels are a unique presentation of diverse characters and diverse situations.  Ms. Phaire is a gifted writer; weaving ideas, plots, and individuals in a mysterious, gripping manner. Below is a write up by the author describing the diversity in her novels, followed by a short bio and the cover jacket from her latest novel, Blind Delusion.

Dorothy Phaire

 

The Diversity of Loving: Why Diversity Matters

By Dorothy Phaire, May 2010

In order to fully embrace the ideals of multiculturalism and diversity, it is necessary to exhibit openness and tolerance to the entire spectrum of humanity across our globe. There is a quote that says, “Show love first, understanding second, and never judge.”  When we can learn to adopt this simple motto, we open ourselves up to an exciting world of learning about the beliefs, values, customs, and cultures of others. Diversity is important to our interconnected world today, because it allows all of us to learn, change, adapt, and develop through our interactions with people who we regard as “others”.

There is a divine aspect to our diversity in that each one of us is wonderfully unique, like the unique set of fingerprints that mark our distinctiveness. Even identical twins have their own set of unique fingerprints. Diversity can be likened to an orchestra that relies on a variety of different instruments to produce a melodious symphony.  The instruments bring their own unique sound. When these sounds are blended together in harmony, the musical composition is magnificent. 

As a college professor, I appreciate the diversity among the faculty I work with and the students I teach that hail from other countries. My colleagues and my students bring with them an array of cultural and religious beliefs, experiences, and customs that can only enrich our shared learning environment.

As a novelist, I embrace the gift of diversity.  Being blessed with the passion to create stories that hopefully many people will respond to, opens up my desire to learn about people who are nothing like me. I want to learn about their world so that I can create believable characters that display various lifestyles and cultures.  In my latest novel, “Blind Delusion,” characters come from India, Japan, Nigeria, and Peru, and all were created from getting to know real people from these countries.  In addition to its international diversity, the novel reflects the social, economic, political, and cultural diversity among American-born citizens within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  My purpose in portraying so many levels of diversity is to show our common humanity and sameness when it comes to searching for peace and joy in this world.

Throughout history some have used religion to justify intolerance of others who believe differently than they do.  Throughout history people have used man-made laws to deny freedom to others. Throughout history people have shunned those who look differently, speak differently, and may live in the “wrong” neighborhoods. But, our world is an ever changing, ever evolving entity. In this 21st century and beyond, we must be flexible enough to adapt to changes as well as discover our own place in this world while being open to understanding others who are different. 

Exposures to diversity encourage tolerance as we eventually come to understand each other’s differing beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences.  Ultimately, we realize that people are not that different after all. We are all searching for the same thing. As it was so aptly expressed by English writer, John Locke, in the 17th century and later replicated in the Declaration of Independence, everyone desires …Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  This makes us more alike than different.

Dorothy Phaire is a novelist, playwright and college professor in Washington, D.C. Blind Delusion is her third novel. Ms. Phaire has also penned novels, Almost Out of Love (2000) and Murder and the Masquerade (2007). She is the author of plays: This Side of Jordan (2004) and Saving Us Saints (2006, 2007) that were both staged at venues in Washington D. C. and Maryland. Her latest play, Arrested Development (2009) was performed at a staged reading. Ms. Phaire is founder of Heralds of Hope Theater Company, Inc., a non-profit organization. Her poetry was published in Beyond the Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century (2002). For more information about Ms. Phaire’s projects, visit www.dorothyphaire.com. For information about plays, visit www.heraldsofhopetheater.com.

Dorothy Phaire 
author/playwright/educator
novels: Murder and the Masquerade (Book1); Blind Delusion (Book2)     
iUniverse Publishing, Inc.          
Visit Author/Playwright: www.dorothyphaire.com and     
www.heraldsofhopetheater.com

Look or Purchase books by Dorothy Phaire from Publisher

Look or Purchase, “Blind Delusion” or “Murder and The Masquerade" on Amazon

Novel--Blind Delusion

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Grace Virtue, Ph.D., Sr. Writer & Executive Communications Manager, Office of University Communications, Howard University, has written a heart touching book on mothering in the Modern Age, in particular in the United States.  The book is titled How Will I Know My Children In Heaven. She weaves an easy read book of questions posed to her by her daughters with her responses in the form of self-reflection, or through discussions with others.  Grace is not hesitant to be brutally honest at times, and very tender at times; occasionally I wanted to cry, at other times I nodded my head in agreement and still other instances I shook my head from side to side in an emphatic NO!  

Grace writes this book with a quiet strength and wisdom that comes from someone having gone through the grind of the tribulations of life.  This is definitely a must read book, especially by immigrant mothers. Presented below is a blurb from the jacket cover. 

How Will I Know My Children When I Get to Heaven
is a fresh and provocative work on parenting from the perspective of a single, immigrant mother in the United States. Backed by a Ph.D. in the humanities and simple, elegant writing style, the author explores topics like faith, education, body image, media usage, racism, sexism, multiculturalism, abortion, homosexuality, and other modern day concerns, and demonstrates the value of compassion and thoughtfulness in facing these issues. See customer reviews at:
http://www.amazon.com/Will-Know-Children-When- heaven/dp/
B002NRB6B0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271187072&sr=1-1

Book Jacket: How Will I know My Children When I Get To Heaven

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Interview with Frans Johansson, Innovations Expert, author of terrific, inspiring book, The Medici Effect

Frans Johansson

Diversity is an amazing topic...it captures the imagination of many who talk about it, write on it, paint and organize events around it to bring diverse people together...perhaps with one overarching goal...to try to define diversity, to understand how differences can be transformed into strengths not weaknesses and to find solutions to make this a better place for the planet's diverse populations to co-exist peacefully and constructively.  Frans Johansson and his book, The Medici Effect, on the diversity of ideas, captured my imagination. Below is a telephone interview conducted with Frans between Washington DC and New York City where Frans lives.       

Anita: Good morning Frans, it is an immense pleasure for me to be interviewing you today.  I think about two New Year’s ago, I saw you on the television in New York and beneath your name it said, Innovations Consultant.  And I thought what kind of job is that?  So I read about you, bought your book and probably became its biggest fan! Your book is absolutely fascinating and in fact inspiring!  There are so many common sense truths in it and you took the time and energy to present these in a way that I am sure is understandable to most.   Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview for my web site.

Frans:  You are welcome!   I love diversity and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds so thank you for this opportunity.  I have seen your web site, it is very nice!

Anita:  Thank you!  So to begin… My first question is about how and why certain ideas sell, gain acceptance and some do not? I have always believed that in the US, if sold well, certain ideas become big…a fad…so is “selling or marketing” the reason an idea becomes big even if the idea in itself is not that great OR does an idea have to have a basic, intrinsic value, some benefit, and be for the better good and/or just be a good idea in order to be accepted?

Frans:  Your question is excellent.  As I see it there is a difference between an idea and a fad.  Any idea with the right marketing will sell but using your words, if it does not have an “intrinsic value” the idea will disappear or disintegrate soon enough.  But even if an idea has an intrinsic value it might not sell….thus both are required…an idea with intrinsic value and also great marketing. The questions arises that how we define “intrinsic value?”  For example science may discover some amazing way to save someone’s life…it’s a great idea but then it requires a whole lot of money to conduct research and implement that…and maybe because of that the idea fizzles out.  But in order to have longevity an idea needs intrinsic value.  For example my own book… when it first came out, we thought it might be difficult to sell because the publisher came out with similar books by other authors who were already well known.  But my book sold and the idea caught on because of the way we marketed…by word of mouth, and it had a domino effect on the success of the book.  Thus both are required, a good idea with intrinsic value and good marketing strategies.  It cannot be “or” “either.”  Those ideas have temporary effect.

Anita: On page 19 of your book you say that one of the characteristics of intersectional innovations is, “they generate followers, which means the creators can become leaders.”  My question is:  when that happens does that take the followers away from other ideas that they follow or that followers can follow more than one idea?  In other words, can one follow more than one idea with conviction?  Also, is the idea more important or how many followers it has…which brings us back to my first question…if the idea is sold well it will create followers, or does an idea need to have some intrinsic value before it can become a great idea and have followers?  

Frans:  Another good question and my first reaction would be to say, not really, but sometimes.  For example if some individuals launch a new group on Facebook it has all chances of becoming a success and having many followers if the right mixture is there…committed individuals, good idea, money, marketing etc.  Lack of committed followers can destroy the idea.  Even if an idea has ten committed followers it is better than to have many who are not passionate about it enough to promote it.   Also, it is important as to who are your followers?  If you have the prime minister of a country as your follower that would be much better for your idea becoming big and successful.    Sometimes, yes, numbers are important such as followers of a particular YouTube video…and the numbers will drive its success.  But real impact comes from the quality of the followers.

To respond to the second part of your question I would say that it is hard to follow more than one idea with conviction. Like, I could join thirty groups but if I am not committed then it’s hard for me to be a good follower. And also the level of my input and energy to that idea/project would be limited and my work in it would suffer as would the outcome for that idea/project.  I could be committed to different kinds of things in terms of my family, sports, hobbies etc but perhaps not to two or more ideas on the same thing…the mind might become confused. 

Anita:  Yes, I agree, if I am not able to give quality time and energy to a group/idea I prefer to withdraw from it rather than do things half heartedly.

Frans: Right and at the same time one needs to be open to the chance of finding new potential ideas which you can be the leader or the follower.

Just because you are committed to one idea does not imply that you do not explore other ideas which might catch your imagination.  Find also new connections, new intersections or take what you are doing and intersect it with other ideas. Such as when I met my wife I found that her interest and work in diversity really intersected well with mine and we have learned so much from each other.

Anita: From your experience to what extent do individuals in diverse settings attempt “reversing assumptions” and with what impact?  Do you have some examples to share?

Frans:  Well, to answer that my question is, what is a diverse setting?  For example companies that are homogeneous decide to bring in one person who is diverse.  The chances of success for that person or the organization are slim. Either the group will likely ignore the person or the person will, in subtle ways, confirm to the larger group dynamics.  But for say if there are two people who are diverse that will allow for people to ask questions and challenge assumptions.

At times people in diverse settings can use various means to accentuate the differences bringing conflict but if intersected they can bring change…the right approach is required. Companies need to find new ways to employ diversity.  For example once a mobile phone company brought in a librarian to find a solution to one of their problems and they came up with a solution.  I asked them how many times they had brought in a librarian and they said never!  Thus such innovation in employing diversity can yield very interesting new results.

Anita: On page 62 you write about “Finding Magic”  and later you have a chapter on, “Break Out Of Your Network”  My experience has been that sometimes one cannot find magic and thus it is important to learn to “Create Magic” because sometimes it is possible that an idea or the way we work on an idea is not bringing its desired result then we need to think of other ideas or changing the way we do things and create magic otherwise an individual can become disillusioned…are you implying the same but using a different word?  And also about “Breaking Out Of Your Network”…again experience has shown me that at times it is not possible to break out of a network…what to do then?  Can we that… then it is important to create in that existing network different ways of doing the same things so that your network appears attractive till time comes when you can break away from that network. 

Frans:  Well, I use the words ‘finding magic” because often something is right in front of us and we are not able to find it.  And many times we say later, in hindsight…that wow…I didn’t realize that it was there.  Thus the use of the word “finding”   Actually everything is connected but the question is how to find it?   

I don’t think it is not possible to break out of a network.  Perhaps you can’t or don’t want to leave a particular job or situation in which case perhaps look for different individuals in the same setting for new ideas and on relying on them.  New people will also look at your ideas with a different lens thus bringing in new mini networks and that is absolutely the best was to move the needle.  But to move the needle with the same people you need something traumatic to happen.  For example bankruptcy in an organization may compel individuals to think of new ideas and new ways of doing things and collaborating in new ways with the same people with whom relationships had become stale or unworkable.

Anita:  I agree.  Working at Howard I have tried to bring in new ideas on how diversity can be appreciated.  Sitting one day in my office I thought there are so many diverse people at Howard but we don’t have occasions where we can celebrate cultural diversity. So I started with organizing  Diwali, the Indian festival of lights and then the next year I combined with it the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Id-Ul –Fitr.  These events were a huge success and brought forth so many new ideas to understand and appreciate the diversity at Howard besides of course bringing diverse people together for one afternoon to share and learn from each other.  Furthermore, my web site is an attempt to bring in new constructs towards fulfilling my passion about understanding and promoting diversity.

Your book is a book of hope, of courage and strength and about hard work and thinking outside the box…these are things that many just don’t want to ascribe to because it is hard to innovate, hard to try to implement one’s different ideas, especially if one is different in a given environment!  I love your book precisely for all of the above because I have all my life attempted new ideas in the face of opposition…yes…not all ideas of mine have been successful but some have and some that have been life changing for me. So I consider myself as an innovator…an entrepreneur I would say.  Given this, let me ask that since you have travelled and lectured extensively…what in your experience has been for you the most challenging point of yours to convince others about? 

Frans:  I think it has been challenging and interesting to observe people’s response in different parts of the world in my numerous travels…in the US, Brazil Sweden, Thailand, Malaysia, India and so forth.  Sometimes it is difficult to convince people that cultural diversity can lead to social strength instead of conflict.  In the US I find people are more open to this.

I also think that role of luck in the success of ideas is very important.  People keep thinking that if they have good ideas they will succeed…but no that is not always the case.  Besides having good ideas people need luck to make them acceptable and successful.  People are more open to believing the same when it comes to love and relationships but not for other things.

Anita: What advice would you give to minority educational institutions such as HBCU’s or HIS’s or  Native American institutions about what they can do with their own diversity, such as students, faculty and staff who are different from them.   For example, African Americans are a minority in the US but at an HBCU they are the majority and they have their own minorities…I am researching on this and have written a bit on this and I call this the minority/majority-minority construct. Thus what advice would you have for such institutions? 

Frans:  Diversity has to be broadly defined.  There is tremendous power in it.  How do you find that power?  By being open to different perspectives.  Thus first of all Minority serving institutions such as HBCU’s can become a source and platform to help others with diversity by partnering with companies who don’t have diversity.  And second they need to be vigilant that they use their diversity by bringing in ideas from different sources not the same source.

Anita: Many thanks Frans for sharing your views and giving us more insights into your wonderful world of ideas and their intersection.  I am sure our readers will greatly benefit. 

Frans Johansson can be contacted on Tweeter and Facebook.

Web site:  www.themedicieffect.com

The Medici Effect

 

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Gaurav Suri, from California, whose maiden venture has received quite the rave reviews.

Gaurav Suri

Gaurav Suri

A Certain Ambiguity, A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri & Hartosh Singh Bal
(Princeton University Press: New Jersey, 2007)

The blurb says: “Moving and enlightening, A Certain Ambiguity is a story about what it means to face the extent---and the limits---of human knowledge.”

On the back cover, one reviewer says:

"A Certain Ambiguity is an amazing narrative that glows with a vivid sense of the beauty and wonder of mathematics.”  Martin Gardner

Another says:

"A Certain Ambiguity is a remarkably good effort to work through some fundamental issues in the philosophy of mathematics in the context of a novel…This well-written book will, I believe, find readers not only among mathematicians, but in a wider audience that is intrigued by mathematical meaning.”  Joan Richards, Brown University

This intriguing new novel combines the world of mathematics with the realm of storytelling.  We present below an interview with one of its authors, Gaurav Suri.

Anita:  Hello Gaurav:  Fascinating work...your novel is unique.  Just look at the diversity presented here...mathematics and emotions brought together to weave  a story…wonderful!  Can you say a bit about the idea behind your novel?  Why did you choose to bring together mathematics and the genre of creative writing…what was your purpose? And what audience did you hope to reach?

Gaurav:  Thank you!  The human heart yearns for absolute truth and certainty. But can we be truly certain about anything --- or is everything we believe accidental and meaningless, shaped by the happenstance of genetic and social inheritance? Perhaps mathematics alone, with its uncompromising rigor, can lead us to certainty. A Certain Ambiguity examines where mathematics can and cannot take us in this quest.

The book's protagonist, Vijay Sahni, an Indian mathematician, has glimpsed the certainty that mathematics can provide and does not see why its methods cannot be extended to all branches of human knowledge, including religion. Arriving to pursue his academic career in a small New Jersey town in 1919, his outspoken views land him in jail, charged under a little-known blasphemy law (on the state statute books to this day). His beliefs are challenged by Judge John Taylor, who does not see how mathematical deduction can be applied to matters of faith. In their discussions the two men discover the power—and the fallibility—of Euclid’s axiomatic treatment of geometry, long considered the gold standard in human certainty. In the end both Vijay and Judge Taylor come to understand that doubt must always accompany knowledge.

A Certain Ambiguity does not require a heavy prior knowledge of mathematics. It is targeted towards anyone who is inquisitive by nature and is open to new ways of looking at old ideas. Fundamentally, it is a story--and stories are the best way to talk about ideas that matter.

Anita: So true!  In my interactions with others, my entire life, I have attempted to seek truth and complete information or knowledge thus providing me with a semblance of certainty...so I really like that!   Now tell me, I believe you are planning to write a sequel--what is that about?

Gaurav: It is not a sequel per se. My current project is centered around the human brain and asks the question, "What makes us decide the way we do?" Once again it is a novel, but with a dose of science.
  
Anita:  Wow!  Many of us think about that all the time...what makes us decide and make the choices we do!  I look forward to it. Can you just tell us a bit about yourself?

Gaurav:  By vocation, I am a partner at a global management consulting firm. By avocation I'm a writer. I'm fascinated with trying to explore big philosophical problems in the context of science. I live in Menlo Park, CA with my wife and son.

Anita:  It was a pleasure to speak with you about your unique novel and I wish you great success!

Gaurav:  Many thanks!

Read more about this exciting novel at:

http://www.amazon.com/Certain-Ambiguity-Mathematical-Novel/dp/0691127093

 

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Chaman Nahal, a celebrated writer from India whose writings cover a vast expanse of diverse issues such as national identity, religion, gender, ethnicity, language, history and the impact of political decisions upon the lives of diverse people. Below, please find his profile and a short write up on his works, including on his famous novels on Gandhi.

Chaman Nahal passed away on November 29, 2013 in New Delhi, India. Please read his obituary and information on his books, and journal articles and reviews on him, and other relevant material at the link below:

Remembering Renaissance Indian Writer, Chaman Nahal

Profile

Chaman Nahal
Born in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), 1927 Nahal was educated at the University of Delhi, M.A. in English 1948; University of Nottingham (British Council scholar), 1959-61, and Ph.D. in English 1961. Nahal served as a Lecturer at various universities in India from 1949-62, followed as a Reader in English, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, 1962-63; Reader in English, 1963-80, and Professor of English, University of Delhi, 1980-92. He was visiting Senior Fulbright Fellow, Princeton University, New Jersey, 1967-70 and from 1971 visiting lecturer at several universities in the U.S.A., Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and North Korea. He was appointed a life fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge in 1991. Nahal was also a columnist ("Talking about Books") for the Indian Express, New Delhi, 1966-73. His major awards include; Sahitya Academy award, 1977, Federation of Indian Publishers award, 1977 and 1979, the Medal of Honor, Turin University, Italy, 1988 and the Distinguished Service Award, East-West Center, Honolulu, 1998.

Publications

Novels

  • My True Faces. New Delhi, Orient, 1973
  • Into Another Dawn. New Delhi, Sterling, 1977
  • The English Queens. New Delhi, Vision, 1979
  • Sunrise in Fiji. New Delhi, Allied, 1988
  • Azadi (Freedom). New Delhi, Arnold-Heinemann, and Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1975; London, Deutsch, 1977
  • The Crown and the Loincloth. New Delhi, Vikas, 1981
  • The Salt of Life. New Delhi, Allied, 1990
  • The Triumph of the Tricolour. New Delhi, Allied, 1993
  • The Gandhi Quartet. New Delhi, Allied, 1993

Short Stories

  • The Weird Dance and Other Stories. New Delhi, Arya, 1965
  • Uncollected Short Stories: "Tons," in The Statesman (New Delhi), 12 June 1977
  • "The Light on the Lake," in Illustrated Weekly of India (Bombay), 22 July 1984
  • "The Take Over," in Debonair (Bombay), August 1985

Other

  • Moby Dick (for children), adaptation of the novel by Melville. New Delhi, Eurasia, 1965
  • A Conversation with J. Krishnamurti. New Delhi, Arya, 1965
  • D.H. Lawrence: An Eastern View. South Brunswick, New Jersey, A.S. Barnes, and London, Yoseloff, 1971
  • The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's Fiction. New Delhi, Vikas, and Rutherford, New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971
  • The New Literatures in English. New Delhi, Allied, 1985
  • Jawaharlal Nehru as a Man of Letters. New Delhi, Allied, 1990, Editor
  • Drugs and the Other Self: An Anthology of Spiritual Transformations. New York, Harper, 1971

Current Work

Writing for children, and has published three short novels, Akela and the Blue Monster; Akela and the Asian Tsunami; Akela and the UFOs, all in 2009. Akela is an Indian boy, 13-14 yr old, influenced both by ancient mythology and modern science. Nahal’s earlier novel, The Boy and the Mountain, 1997, has the same theme, though with a different boy character. (See our For Children section for a description of Nahal’s children’s books.)

Novels on Gandhi

Nahal’s most accomplished work is a set of four novels on Mahatma Gandhi, The Gandhi Quartet. The four novels are: The Crown And The Loincloth, The Salt Of Life, The Triumph Of The Tricolor and Azadi. Though last chronologically, Azadi was the first to be published and received national and international acclaim, winning India’s highest literary award, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977 and was later published in many Indian and international languages. On the side is the cover jacket from The Gandhi Quartet

Nahal also started a foundation called the CHAMAN NAHAL FOUNDATION, New Delhi, India It was established as a public Trust in 2002 to promote world literatures and peace studies. Its principal concerns will be to examine formulations and procedures where the non-violent posture instead of merely remaining an intellectual curiosity can acquire sufficient intensity to demand attention, action, and implementation. Taking Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, among others, as role models, the Foundation will organize in-depth studies of the 20th century world history, when the so-called Empires collapsed and a new Asia, Africa and America emerged instead. Mahatma Gandhi provided the impetus to such a struggle, especially from 1915-1947, when he successfully led India to its freedom.

The civil rights movement in America progressed on similar lines, where the African American today is legally as free as any other citizen of the United States. The end of apartheid in South Africa is another remarkable illustration of the same transformation. The Foundation will encourage writers to involve themselves more intimately with the social issues of their times and make their voice heard. The activities of the Foundation will include research, debates, conferences, and seminars to bring diverse people together from the world over for a better future for all.

For more information on Chaman Nahal, please write to:

anitanahal@diversitydiscover.com

Learn more about Chaman Nahal at:
http://biography.jrank.org/pages/4623/Nahal-Chaman-Lal.html

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