Samira Ahmed - "Love, Hate, and Other Filters"

Samir Ahmed, AB'93, discusses her debut novel "Love, Hate, and Other Filters." She will be joined in conversation by Riley Redgate and Lizzie Cooke.


"A heartbreakingly beautiful debut that weaves together the

rush of new love, the shock of old hatred, the pressure of protective parents and the culture clash between generations—in other words, a cinematic glimpse into one experience of growing up Muslim in modern America." —Heidi Heilig, author of "The Girl from Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time"

About the book: In this unforgettable debut novel, an Indian-American Muslim teen copes with Islamophobia, cultural divides among peers and parents, and a reality she can neither explain nor escape. American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school. There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

About the author: 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.

About the interlocutors: Riley Redgate is the author of "Seven Ways We Lie," "Noteworthy," and "Final Draft" (2018). Her favorite things are thunderstorms, the Atonement soundtrack, and DJ Khaled's Instagram presence. She writes in Chicago, where she is an apprentice with America's Finest News Source, "The Onion."

Lizzie Cooke is a children’s writer with an undying love of trees, ice cream, and—of course—books. Her work has been published in "Cicada," a literary magazine for teens, and "Coming of Age at the End of Nature," an anthology of environmental essays. A native of Wisconsin, she is delighted to now call Hyde Park home.

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Event Information

Cost: Free and open to the public
No Registration Required


Saturday, 02/3/18 at 3:00pm - 4:30pm | iCal


57th Street Books
1301 E 57th St
Chicago, IL 60637 USA

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