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CubaLibre

Cuba Libre

In the weeks leading up to the vacation, my father, younger brother and I called it by a variety of jovial-sounding names. A Guy’s Getaway. The Majumdar Men take Cuba. I was 25 years old and living in the basement, feverishly working on what I hoped would be a sellable first novel while ducking calls [...]

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WinterRoad

The Palace of Justice

During the winter of 2005, I watched my father battle Quebec’s Public Curator office for control of my mother’s future. It was a low point for us all- the financial and emotional strain, coupled with the challenges of trying to somehow stay connected as a family at the tail end of over a decade of [...]

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darkmatter

The Second Promise

I’d been dating Erin for nearly 2 years before she finally met my parents. Truth be told, I’d done everything possible to delay it: intimations that they were too busy in Montreal to pay us a visit in Queens (not true), assurances that we’d set something up for an upcoming holiday or long weekend that [...]

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christmastree

The End of Halfhearted Holidays (And Why I Couldn’t Be Happier)

Growing up in Montreal as part of a 4-person Bengali family, I can best describe our Christmases together as pleasant but halfhearted. There would be a Saturday or Sunday devoted to decorating, a brief Christmas morning, and, for those things needed yet rarely asked for, Boxing Day on the 26th, a cacophony of cash registers [...]

Anish Childhood Pics-2

Starting Over

I come awake suddenly on an August morning in 2006 in the basement of my parents’ home in Montreal. Bright sunlight slips through barred windows and caresses grey carpet. I’m wearing the previous day’s clothes, and my legs dangle over the edge of the sofa which has served as a makeshift bed for the past [...]

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200 Days with the Others

In March of last year, I began writing my second novel, The Quarry. What began as a kind of waking dream, a young couple, marriage fraying at the seams yet still possessed of a visible love, taking a train through the heart of India became, over the course of the next 200+ days, a thread [...]

Smays

Guest Post: When Immigrants Write About Regular People

I was born in the former USSR, immigrating to San Francisco with my parents when I was seven. And although I spent the bulk of my growing up years in America, the fact was, having parents who were immigrants, speaking a different language at home, eating food no one had ever heard of (Cow tongue! Baked [...]