Event date: 
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 - 6:00pm

A Room of One's Own is thrilled to welcome Madison’s very own Zara Chowdhary for a reading, discussion and musical celebration of her debut memoir The Lucky Ones.

This is an in person event at A Room of One's Own.

About the Book

A moving memoir by a survivor of anti-Muslim violence in contemporary India that delicately weaves political and family histories in a tribute to her country’s unique Islamic heritage

In 2002, Zara Chowdhary is sixteen years old and living with her family in Ahmedabad, one of India’s fastest-growing cities, when a gruesome train fire claims the lives of sixty Hindu right-wing volunteers and upends the life of five million Muslims. Instead of taking her school exams that week, Zara is put under a three-month siege, with her family and thousands of others fearing for their lives as Hindu neighbors, friends, and members of civil society transform overnight into bloodthirsty mobs, hunting and massacring their fellow citizens. The chief minister of the state at the time, Narendra Modi, will later be accused of fomenting the massacre, and yet a decade later, will rise to become India’s prime minister, sending the “world’s largest democracy” hurtling toward cacophonous Hindu nationalism. 
The Lucky Ones traces the past of a multigenerational Muslim family to India’s brave but bloody origins, a segregated city’s ancient past, and the lingering hurt causing bloodshed on the streets. Symphonic interludes offer glimpses into the precious, ordinary lives of Muslims, all locked together in a crumbling apartment building in the city’s old quarters, with their ability to forgive and find laughter, to offer grace even as the world outside, and their place in it, falls apart.

Zara Chowdhary is a writer and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin. She has an MFA in creative writing and environment from Iowa State University and a master's in writing for performance from the University of Leeds. She has previously written for documentary television, advertising, and film. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her partner, child, and two cats.

Maggie Ginsberg is a writer, editor and author in Wisconsin. Her debut novel, Still True, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in September 2022 and won the Wisconsin Library Association’s 2023 WLA Literary Award for Fiction. Maggie is a senior editor at Madison Magazine, where she has worked full time since 2020 after freelancing for city, regional and national magazines since 2006. She has published hundreds of articles throughout her career, earning numerous honors from the City Regional Magazine Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Dr. Ezaz Ahmad is a biochemist researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has been performing as a vocalist since his teens. In India, he performed as part of various musical groups in Bangalore including, Rhythmica and Geetanjali. His vocal styles include Sufi, Ghazal, Hindustani classical, and Indian folk.

Event address: 
A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
2717 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
The Lucky Ones: A Memoir By Zara Chowdhary Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593727430
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Crown - July 16th, 2024