Mathangi Subramanian's "A People's History of Heaven" w/ Amy Stornaiuolo

Please join us for a reading and discussion with
in conversation with AMY STORNAIUOLO!

A politically driven graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl who loves to dance. A queer daughter of a hijabi union leader. These are some of the young women who live in a Bangalore slum known as Heaven, young women whom readers will come to love in the moving, atmospheric, and deeply inspiring debut, A People's History of Heaven.

Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore, one of India's fastest-growing cities. In Heaven, you will come to know a community of people living hand-to-mouth and constantly struggling against the city government who wants to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises. These families, men and women, young and old, gladly support one another, sharing whatever they can.

A People's History of Heaven centers on five best friends, girls who go to school together, a diverse group who love and accept one another unconditionally, pulling one another through crises and providing emotional, physical, and financial support. Together they wage war on the bulldozers that would bury their homes, and, ultimately, on the city that does not care what happens to them.

This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love--even if no one else knows they exist. Elegant, poetic, bursting with color, Mathangi Subramanian's novel is a moving and celebratory story of girls on the cusp of adulthood who find joy just in the basic act of living.

is an award-winning Indian American writer, author, and educator. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Teachers College of Columbia University, and the recipient of a Fulbright as well as other fellowships. Her writing has previously appeared in the Washington PostQuartz, Al Jazeera America, and elsewhere. This is her first work of literary fiction.  

Dr. AMY STORNAIUOLO received her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. Her research examines adolescents' multimodal composing practices, teachers' uses of digital technologies, and shifting relationships between authors and audiences in online, networked spaces. More broadly, her work centers on how to create equitable and accessible learning opportunities for young people by examining how they draw on diverse cultural and linguistic repertoires as they participate in richly literate lives. She currently serves as the Program Chair of AERA's Writing and Literacies SIG and on the technology committee of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), and was recently selected as a 2017 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellow.

Event date: 
Monday, March 25, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
A People's History of Heaven Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616207588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - March 19th, 2019

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