Greenwich Library along with the India Cultural Center
presents Date with an Author, featuring New York Times
bestselling novelist Alka Joshi, who will be speaking with author and screenwriter Sharbari Ahmed. Alka will talk about her debut novel, The Henna Artist
, a touching tribute to the life her mother didn’t have the opportunity to lead and discuss her writing process.
In her novel, Alka re-imagines her mother as Lakshmi Shastri, who deserts her arranged marriage and carves out an independent life as a celebrated henna artist, friend, and confidante to the elite women of Jaipur in 1950s India—at the same time that India is gaining its footing as an independent country. When the husband she deserted thirteen years ago shows up at her doorstep with a sister Lakshmi didn’t know she had, her carefully crafted life and livelihood is threatened. Her resilience, courage and humility in the face of cultural and societal mores is a story of hope and courage that has resonated with readers from around the world.
Alka Joshi is a graduate of Stanford University and received her M.F.A. from the California College of the Arts. She has worked as an advertising copywriter, a marketing consultant, and an illustrator. Alka was born in India, in the state of Rajasthan. Her family came to the United States when she was nine, and she now lives on California's Monterey Peninsula with her husband. The Henna Artist was the May 2020 selection by Reese Witherspoon for her popular book club. The book is being translated into 23 languages and is in development for a Miramax TV series.
Sharbari Ahmed is an author, screenwriter, and educator. Her fiction has appeared in New England Review, Gettysburg Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Wasafiri (UK) Roanoke Review, Asian Pacific American Journal, and The Caravan (India) among others. In 2019 her first novel Dust Under Her Feet was published by Westland /Tranquebar. Her short story collection The Ocean of Mrs Nagai was published in 2013. She was on the writing team for the hit TV show Quantico on ABC and co-adapted the ya novel Rickshaw Girl for the screen. She’s on the MFA faculty for Manhattanville College.
The Henna Artist in the News
Date with an Author and AuthorsLive is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. For more information, please visit greenwichlibrary.org/authorslive