Local authors Samira Ahmed and Gloria Chao will be discussing their debut novels, Love, Hate & Other Filters (Ahmed) and American Panda (Chao). Both Ahmed and Chao write YA contemporary novels that explore the child-of-immigrant experience, drawing from their own backgrounds to write their stories. A short reading and book-signing will follow the discussion, and there will be Chinese New Year candy to bring in the Year of the Dog!
Gloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. She currently lives in Chicago with her ever-supportive husband, for whom she became a nine-hole golfer (sometimes seven). She is always up for cooperative board games, Dance Dance Revolution, or soup dumplings. She was also once a black belt in kung-fu and a competitive dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. American Panda is her debut novel, and Misaligned is forthcoming fall 2019.
Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in a small town in Illinois in a house that smelled like fried onions, cardamom, and potpourri. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English, helped create dozens of small high schools, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools. She's lived in Vermont, Chicago, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.