Segments in this Video

"Yesterday Man" (06:06)


New York’s Rubin Museum of Art hosts a launch event for “Delhi Noir,” a collection of short stories set in the Indian capital. Rita Wolf reads from Omair Ahmad’s short story.

Appeal of Crime Fiction (11:38)

Hirsch Sawhney introduces authors Meera Nair and Pete Hamill. Sawhney recalls India’s 1984 anti-Sikh riots, an inspiration for “Yesterday Man.” Panelists discuss dabbling in crime fiction.

Social Realism in Crime Fiction (02:06)

The panelists discuss social realism in crime fiction, the influence of Prohibition and German expressionists, and Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 novel “Red Harvest.”

"Small Fry" (06:39)

Nair describes her approach to her contribution to “Delhi Noir.” Actor Ajay Naidu reads an excerpt.

Noir and Urban Spaces (07:05)

Sawhney describes Akashic Books’ noir series. Panelists explore the reasons why crime fiction is most frequently associated with urban spaces.

What Crime Fiction Can Tell Us (05:15)

“Delhi Noir” seems to provide an antidote to some of the simplistic pictures of India that are promoted by the media. Hamill tells a story about actor Marlon Brando.

"Walls of Delhi" and Social Mobility (19:56)

Naidu reads from Uday Prakash’s short story. Sawhney calls Prakash one of the most important authors writing in Hindi today. The story is a jumping off point for talking about American perceptions of social mobility in India.

“Gautama Under a Tree” (06:19)

Sawhney elaborates on the plot and themes of his short story. Wolf reads and excerpt.

Q/A: New Genre for Pakistan? (05:09)

An audience member describes the tension in the Deep South and attitudes toward Muslims; she is afraid to identify as Pakistani. The panelists consider Islamophobia and writing coming out of Pakistan.

Q/A: Libraries and English Literature (01:29)

An audience member asks about Indian libraries and the popularity of English-language literature in the country. Sawhney says “Delhi Noir” has been sold to an Indian publisher which will print about 10,000 copies for its initial print run.

Q/A: Calcutta and Mumbai (03:38)

An audience member asks about Calcutta and Mumbai as settings for noir fiction. Sawhney characterizes both as cities that are “nourish” and corrupt in ways that would be familiar to westerners. He alludes to writers associated with those cities, including “Sacred Games” author Vikram Chandra and filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

Q/A: Cover Art, Self-Deprecation (05:37)

An audience member asks about Madhu Kapparath’s “Delhi Noir” cover photo. Another audience member references “Delhi Noir’s” sense of place and self-deprecating humor, prompting comparison to French and American crime fiction and the works of William Faulkner.

Q/A: Dabbling in Noir, Femme Fatalesand Irony (02:24)

Nair is asked to describe her experience dabbling in crime fiction for the first time. “I really had a good time writing it,” she says of her contribution. “It was kind of freeing in a way.” Hamill discusses the tough femme fatales archetype that is prevalent in noir fiction.

Q/A: Book's Indian Audience (03:20)

Sawhney discusses writing for an Indian versus American audience. Nair confesses she assumed “Delhi Noir” would only be published in India.

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Brainwave: Delhi Noir

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



 An evening of dark and despairing stories set in the legendary Indian capital, featuring panelists Meera Nair, Hirsh Sawhney and Pete Hamill and readings by actors Rita Wolf (My Beautiful Laundrette, Homebody Kabul) and Ajay Naidu (subUrbia, The Guru, Loins of Punjab Presents). Sawhney is also editor of this collection of short stories, written by some of India's finest writers.

Length: 87 minutes

Item#: BVL143742

ISBN: 978-1-64481-189-4

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.