01 March, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: Introducing Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla

Under "Special Feature" every month I feature a Special Author. 
During this month I put up 4/5 posts about the Author/Book, including Interview / Review / Excerpt / Guest Post / Author Bio / Fun Facts or whatever else we can come up with. Also on the first day of the month we will  launch the Giveaway contest along with the first post and will announce the winner on the last day of the month.
So be sure to check out my blog every 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of every month for something new :)

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - March'13 ***

Los Angeles-based writer Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla was born in Kenya, where, at 13 years old, he published his first article in the national magazine VIVA. 

His critically-acclaimed debut novel, "Ode to Lata", was hailed by the LA Times as "an accomplishment" and The Library Journal as "brilliant." An excerpt premiered in the anthology, Contours of the Heart (Rutgers), and went on to win the 18th Annual American Book Award. The novel created milestones as the first South Asian gay novel ever to be reviewed by the LA Times Book Review and to be excerpted by LGBT landmark magazine, Genre. It was also the first account of the South Asian gay experience from an author from the African continent. 

Dhalla went on to adapt, produce and co-direct the novel into the feature film, "The Ode" which premiered at the Outfest Film Festival (2008). It was called "a beautiful portrait of the American experience for many first and second-generation Indian-Americans" (CineQueer 7/18/08) and a film with performances that are "memorable" and filled with "cinematic intensity" (Planet Homo 7/19/08). The UCLA Asia Institute praised it as a film that inspired "after-film contemplation" and boasting performances that are "noteworthy" (Asia Pacific Arts 8/8/08).

A passionate activist, Dhalla co-founded the South Asian program for the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team (APAIT) which provides prevention, health and social services, community leadership and advocacy to over 10,000 individuals in Southern California. He is also one of the founding members of SATRANG, a support group for LGBT and questioning South Asians in Los Angeles.

In June 2007, Dhalla was listed as one of the Top 21 Tastemakers and "Most Important Movers and Shakers" in America (Genre Magazine). In August 2007, Dhalla was listed as one of the "Top 25 People Who Make Us Melt - Angelenos Who Redefine What's Hot" (Frontiers Magazine).

On August 29th, 2009 Dhalla was showcased at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York with the headlining event, "An Evening with Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla." 

His follow-up novel, "The Two Krishnas" garnered raves from peers, Lisa See, Chitra Divakaruni and his inspiration, Andrew Holleran and was published as "The Exiles" in India where it went on to become a bestseller.

He is currently developing "Embrace", a feature film based on love stories impacted by actual terror events from around the world. His short, upon which the feature is based, premiered at New York's prestigious IAAC film festival and was praised by the Huffington Post as a film that "captures the raw intensity of two ordinary people...A fascinating glimpse of humanity in crisis. The film delivers a message of the defeat of evil and triumph over adversity."

About his Books
Banker by day, and denizen of Los Angeles' clubs by night, the protagonist of Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla's first novel is navigating between more than just a day job and an active social life. In Ode to Lata, Ali has left behind a tempestuous childhood in postcolonial Kenya, the overprotective mother who raised him on a steady diet of Hindi cinema, an emotionally abusive bisexual lover, and confused memories of his father's violent death at the hands of his mistress. Now his mother's messages ramble on his answering machine when he wants no one but his one obsession, Richard, to call. Passionate and unflinchingly honest in its narrative, Ode to Lata scavenges the depths of one man's misguided search for love in a world of emotionally-void encounters and tangled memories. All the while, Ali's story is intertwined with the unraveling of his parents' own doomed relationship and the film music of Bollywood's eminent singer Lata Mangeshkar (Diva of Indian film music and the namesake of the book's title). And it is this hopelessly romantic music that scores their tormented lives and goads them to pursue love through chaos and ecstasy.

'The Two Krishnas' has been released in India under the title of 'The Exiles'.
In the tradition of A Fine Balance and The Namesake, The Two Krishna is a sensual and searing look at infidelity and the nature of desire and faith. At the center of the novel is Pooja Kapoor, a betrayed wife and mother who is forced to question her faith and marriage when she discovers that her banker husband Rahul has fallen in love with a young Muslim illegal immigrant man who happens to be their son’s age. Faced with the potential of losing faith in Rahul, divine intervention and family, she is forced to confront painful truths about the past and the duality in God and husband. The Two Krishnas draws inspiration from archetypal Hindu mythology and romantic Sufi poetry, evoking unforgettable characters to explore how, with a new world come new freedoms, and with them, the choices that could change everything we know about those we thought we knew – including ourselves. 

Contact the Author

Buy the Books

Mr.Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla has sportingly agreed to giveaway 2 Autographed Copies of 'The Two Krishnas' to the residents of US and 1 Paperback of 'The Exiles' to a lucky resident of India.
I have set up two separate Rafflecopters one for US Entries and one for Indian Entries. Please enter in the right Rafflecopter.
Also, please remember I will be checking the entries.
All the Best!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Stopping by to follow you from http://bit.ly/WLCBlogFollow #WLCAuthor - J. Lenni Dorner

    Question for Ghalib Shiraz: What was your favorite story as a child?

  2. I always enter these to grab a copy so that I can present it to the girl who has inspired me to read & read and not only inspired but given me the best present one can give to anyone. Books & many of 'em I've now.

  3. Thank you for the giveaway! I am really looking forward to this feature! Sounds great.

    My question for Ghalib- Who is your favourite author and what are some of your favourite books?

  4. What is one thing about being an author that you don't like? :)

  5. How long have you been writing? Thank you for sharing.

  6. What's your inspiration for writing?