How Do You Define “Home?” (audio)

Traveling this holiday season? Listen to six of our most popular programs at 2017 #BKBF, thanks to the generous support of the Amazon Literary Partnership. Listen and recall the day-long literary extravaganza. Here’s No. 4 …


Where Is Home?
“Home” is an idea that invites many definitions and interpretations. Is home where one’s family is, or one’s family history? Or where your beliefs are accepted and embraced? Dina Nayeri (Refuge), Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (Muslim Girl), and Derek Palacio (The Mortifications) discuss how they approached these questions and more in their new novels. Moderated by Hirsh Sawhney (South Haven).

Speakers at “Where is Home?” program, Brooklyn Book Festival 2017.

About the Speakers

Hirsh Sawhney (moderator)
Hirsh Sawhney is the author of a novel, South Haven, which was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick and was longlisted for the DSC Prize for the South Asian Literature. His writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, and Outlook Traveller. He is the editor of Delhi Noir, a critically-acclaimed anthology of original fiction. Hirsh has lived in Delhi, London, and New York City. He currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut and teaches at Wesleyan University.

Dina Nayeri
Dina Nayeri is the author of Refuge and A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea. A graduate of Princeton, Harvard, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the O. Henry Prize, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, and several other artist residencies. Her stories and essays have been published by New York Times Magazine, Granta, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vice, LA Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Guernica, Electric Literature, The Southern Review, Marie Claire, Glamour, and elsewhere.

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is the author of Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age and the founder and editor-in-chief of, the most read online magazine for Muslim women in the English-speaking world. She made the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2016, making her the first veiled woman to be honored in the media category and Muslim Girl the first Muslim company to ever be recognized on the list. Amani was named one of Teen Vogue‘s “New Faces of Feminism” in its February 2016 issue. She joined First Lady Michelle Obama as a speaker at the White House’s first United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C.

Derek Palacio
Derek Palacio is the author of the novella How to Shake the Other Man and the novel The Mortifications. He is a Delbanco Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, as well as a faculty member of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. With Claire Vaye Watkins, he co-directs the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for rural Nevada teens.