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Honor: Thrity Umrigar in conversation with Soniah Kamal

Event date: 
Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Charis and Literati Bookstore welcomes Thrity Umrigar in conversation with Soniah Kamal for a celebration of Honor. In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide. 

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Space Between Us, which was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, as well as a memoir and three picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in more than fifteen countries. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a Seth Rosenberg Award and is Distinguished Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. A recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard, she has contributed to the  Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Huffington Post.

Soniah Kamal is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and public speaker. Her most recent novel, Unmarriageable: Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan, is a Financial Times Readers’ Best Book of 2019, a 2019 ‘Books All Georgians Should Read,’ a 2020 Georgia Author of the Year for Literary Fiction nominee, is shortlisted for the 2020 Townsend Award for Fiction, is a New York Public Library, an NPR Code Switch 2019 Summer Read Pick and People’s Magazine pick. Soniah’s TEDx talk is about second chances and ‘We are the Ink’, her address at a U.S. Citizenship Oath Ceremony, talks about immigrants and the real American Dreams. Soniah’s work has appeared in critically acclaimed anthologies and publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, and more. Twitter and Insta @soniahkamal 

Literati Bookstore is an independent bookstore opened in downtown Ann Arbor in 2013 by owners Mike and Hilary Gustafson. In 2019, Literati Bookstore was named Publishers Weekly's Bookstore of the Year.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Event address: 
Honor Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616209957
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - January 4th, 2022


“In the way A Thousand Splendid Suns told of Afghanistan’s women, Thrity Umrigar tells a story of India with the intimacy of one who knows the many facets of a land both modern and ancient, awash in contradictions.” —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before

The Space Between Us: A Novel (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062067890
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - May 3rd, 2011

“This is a story intimately and compassionately told against the sensuous background of everyday life in Bombay.” —Washington Post Book World

“Bracingly honest.” —New York Times Book Review

The Secrets Between Us: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063138971
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 7th, 2021

A powerful, urgent novel that wields issues of gender and class like a blade. . . . This intergenerational novel asks hard questions about who we are, who we can become, and what awaits on the other side of our becoming.

Everybody's Son: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062912930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 5th, 2019

Everybody’s Son probes directly into the tender spots of race and privilege in America. . . . With assured prose and deep insight into the human heart, Umrigar explores the moral gray zone of what parents, no matter their race, will do for love.” — Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You

Bombay Time: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312286231
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - July 5th, 2002

Bestselling author Thrity Umrigar's deeply felt first novel set in modern India, Bombay Time.

If Today Be Sweet: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061240249
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 27th, 2008

“Ultimately, [If Today Be Sweet] reflects on what makes an individual part of a community, and movingly depicts the heartaches, responsibilities, and rewards of family life—among one’s own blood relatives as well as one’s ‘family of choice.’ . . .

Sugar in Milk Cover Image
By Thrity Umrigar, Khoa Le (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780762495191
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Running Press Kids - October 6th, 2020

A timely and timeless picture book about immigration that demonstrates the power of diversity, acceptance, and tolerance from a gifted storyteller.

An ALSC Notable Children's Book of 2021
A Kirkus Best Books of 2020
A School Library Journal Best Books of 2020
Winner of the 2021 Ohioana Book Award
An Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Awar

Binny's Diwali Cover Image
By Thrity Umrigar, Nidhi Chanani (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781338364484
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - September 1st, 2020

Binny woke up happy but nervous. It was her day to share about Diwali, the Festival of Lights!

Binny is excited to talk to her class about her favorite holiday. But she struggles to find the words.Taking a deep breath, she tells her classmates about the fireworks that burst like stars in the night sky, leaving streaks of gold and red and green.

Unmarriageable: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780525486480
Published: Ballantine Books - February 4th, 2020

“This inventive retelling of Pride and Prejudice charms.”—People
“A fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society.”—NPR

Event Summary: 
In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.