Book Review: ‘Aisle Be Damned’, exceptionally hilarious debut novel by Rishi Piparaiya

‘Aisle Be Damned’, Rishi Piparaiya’s debut novel is an exceptionally hilarious take on everything that one can relate with air travel. It has summed almost everything that can go wrong and right when you are air travelling. From what can go right when you step into the airport to what can go wrong while you choose your seat, meal and whatever else that an airline has got to offer. Every single person who has ever flown can relate to the book and those who do not like to travel by air and yet have to do that, they will relate with the every single thing mentioned in the book.
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A Hilarious Take on just about Everything Associated with Air Travel.

–    Getting seamlessly upgraded to Business Class.
–    The hows and whys of micromanaging the pilots.
–    Action plans to counter the airlines Technical Snag routine.
–    Sure shot strategies for winning the affections of flight attendants.
–    Awesome icebreakers to start conversations with attractive co-passengers.
–    How smart executives deal with the Walk of Shame to the economy section.
–     How a water bottle dramatically improves flight safety.
–    Breezing through immigration and customs, always making your flight connections and a whole lot more
–    Rest assured, your flying experience will never be the same again!

Title: Aisle Be damned
Author: Rishi Piparaiya
Genre: Non- Fiction, Humour
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Pages: 216
Price: Rs. 250/-
For more details, visit: aislebedamned.com.
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Rishi Piparaiya is an over-worked and over-traveled corporate executive based in the skies, 38,000 feet over India. He has spent several years at one of the largest global banks and he currently heads marketing and sales for a financial services multinational company. He did his schooling at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai and undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Rochester and Cornell University in upstate New York. He speaks much of English, some of Hindi and a bit of Spanish but prefers to write ‘Aisle Be Damned’ his first book.

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MSOSA’s Hinglish play: The Good, The Bad and The Bolly (Wood) in Delhi from February 21-23, 2014

A Hinglish play, The Good, The Bad and The Bolly (Wood) by “Free Parking Entertainment”, an initiative of MSOSA (Modern School Old Students Association). This is MSOSA’s 50th Annual Production being held at Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, from February 21-23, 2014 from 7:00 PM. According to a media statement, entry is free and the nearest Metro Station is Mandi House.
Cast
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The cast comprises of old Modernites and some well known theatre personalities including Ashok Dhawan, Pradip Kukreja, Geeta Sudan, Roopak Kathpalia and Vidushi Mehra. With the aim of sustaining and strengthening the spirit of their old school, MSOSA takes great pride in the history the school shares with the Nationalist Movement of the country and also the fact that the school was set up in 1920 as an experiment in education with the belief that growth is inherent in all dynamic ideas.
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A product of visionary heads, the school is secular in nature and believes in the close interconnection of the physical, moral and intellectual as its axiom of a sound system of education. Even today it continues to produce and nurture builders of a modern India. It is MSOSA’s consistent aim to bring together all Modernites amid events that are akin in nature to the ethos of their Alma Mater, while providing them a Platform to contribute their best collectively as a fraternity.
Ensemble
Free Parking Entertainment is an ensemble of Actors, Directors, Writers, Film Makers, Musicians and other creative personnel working toward a common goal of creating and spreading thought provoking and captivating entertainment. It’s a team of young thespians namely, Arnav Nanduri,  Pranay Manchanda and Kabir Nath, known for their award winning, fast paced and highly energetic productions. The Good, The Bad and The Bolly (wood) has been adapted from a Woody Allen classic and promises to entertain people with its eccentric characters and brisk pace.
Sponsorships will be used for Scholarships for the education of meritorious and needy children from the underprivileged sections of society in Modern School, Barakhamba Road from class VI to XII. For further details, visit freeparkingentertainment.co.in.

‘Kingdom of Dreams’ plays host to Delhi International Arts Festival

The unique Indian boulevard of exotic food, art and heritage, Culture Gully, Kingdome of Dreams brings the artists and performers of  Delhi International Arts festival to Gurgaon on February 15, 2014 5:00 pm onwards. The evening will kick start with a live performance by artists from Manipur, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Punjab and guests will be entertained by special Dance Café Acts. Kingdom of Dreams promises vibrant celebrations for a fun family night with these special performances throughout the evening, according to a company statement.
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Delhi International Arts festival is a bouquet of all forms of art including literature that unifies the globe into one aesthetic. Cutting across geographical barriers and looking beyond cultural stereotypes, the festival is not just the capital’s but the entire nation’s first such arts initiative.
Key Highlights:

Pung Cholam & Dhol Cholam/Manipur
Langas & Manganiars/Rajasthan
Rouf Dancers/Kashmir
Bhangara & Giddah/Punjab
Dance Café Acts
Enjoy delectable delicacies and premium beverages, in an ambience and setting that exudes radiance, promising a spectacular night at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams. Kingdom of Dreams is a unique initiative by Great India Nautanki Company, a joint venture between Wizcraft International Entertainment, India’s foremost Entertainment and Communication Company and Apra Group of Companies. This ambitious concept offers theme-based entertainment experiences of exceptional standards and promotes Indian culture to Indians and visitors from across the globe. Spread across acres of land, Kingdom of Dreams has three distinct entertainment zones – Culture Gully, Nautanki Mahal, and Showshaa Theatre- each offering a unique proposition.

·         Culture Gully, a unique Indian boulevard of exotic food, art and culture

·         Nautanki Mahal, India’s first dynamic state of the art 4D theatre designed and conceptualized to offer breath-taking and magical experiences.

·         Showshaa Theatre will present a kaleidoscope of fabulous colorful drama marquee spotlighting ancient Indian Epics and Mythology, mock wedding shows and the great Indian talent circus. Entertainment has never been quite the same since Kingdom of Dreams has thrown open its gates to a magical and mystical arena.

‘What A Loser’, by Pankaj Dubey: A fresh take on the issues revolving around the issue of one’s ‘identity’

Pankaj Dubey’s book, ‘What a Loser’ in English and ‘Loser kahin Ka’ in Hindi, published by Penguin Metro Reads, is a Cowbelt Comedy set in the North Campus of Delhi University. This laughathon delves deep into the zone of satire. It attempts to bring millions of students from the Cowbelt states of UP, Bihar, MP, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan who arrive DU with the borrowed dream from their parents, of making it BIG into the IAS.
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Interestingly set in the post Liberalisation phase of the 1990s India, it’s a fresh take on the issues revolving round the
issue of one’s ‘identity’. Pandey Anil Kumar Sinha (PAKS) comes to Delhi with precisely three things: One, his jaded old trunk full of Sattu and Achaar, two, a borrowed dream of becoming an IAS officer from his clerk father and three, to sleep with a milky-white Punjabi girl.

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However, PAKS’s goals begin to change when he falls in love, enroll for English classes and find cool friends. Then suddenly he is pushed to the forefront of university elections and he becomes a hero! PAKS in living his ultimate dream…or is he?
What will happen next? Will he ever get what he really wants? Find out the laughathon full of cliché’s straight from the cow belt of India! (youtube.com/watch?v=J708pG099l8) and for the Loser Anthem Teaser making rounds in the digital
media: youtube.com/watch?v=iamnAwB63_E).

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Pankaj Dubey is an Indian Author and Screenwriter based out of Mumbai. He has worked as Script Supervisor in the recently released Disney UTV feature film Ghanchakkar, Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta and now working in Chauranga by Anticlock Films.
Pankaj is also a Novelist now. He has authored a novel titled, ‘What a Loser’ (English) and ‘Loser Kahin Ka! (Hindi) published by Penguin Metro Read. His novel is a Cowbelt Comedy set in the North Campus of the University of Delhi. Both these novels are the original works of the Author and none has been translated from the other.
Pankaj has also produced two short films Naach Ganesh (Dance of Ganesha) and Geelee (Wet Dreams) screened at Busan International Film Festival, IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam), Clermont Ferrand, (France) Stuttgart, (Germany) and Indian Film Festival, Los Angeles under his banner Sadak Chhaap Films.
Prior to being a part of the film industry Pankaj has a professional background in Journalism. He has worked with the BBC World Service in London and then with Channel 7 (now IBN7) and TV Today Group in New Delhi, India. A law graduate from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University Pankaj Dubey has done his Masters in Applied Communications from Coventry University,
West Midlands, UK. You can reach the author, by calling on his mobile: +91(9769797555) or e-mail carryonpd@gmail.com.

‘What a Loser’ book by Pankaj Dubey launched at Landmark Store, Infinity Mall Mumbai

‘What a loser’ authored by the renowned screenwriter Pankaj Dubey was launched at the Landmark store, Infiniti Mall, Mumbai today. Various celebrities such as Divya Dutta, Sarika, Swara Bhaskar and Raj Kumar Gupta. Divya Dutta and Sarika took part in the launch and read a chapter from ‘Loser Kahin Ka’ and ‘What a Loser’ respectively amidst the cheer from the audience.

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The book launch was followed by an insightful panel discussion on ‘Celebrating Mediocrity: Rise & Rise of Loser’. The panelists included the likes of Swara Bhaskar, Raj Kumar Gupta, Sanjay Chauhan and Himanshu Sharma. The book has addressed a very common issue faced by the youth from the small cities having borrowed dreams from their parents and is a roller coaster ride full of both humor and emotions.
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‘What a Loser’ is about Pandey Anil Kumar Sinha (PAKS) who comes to Delhi with precisely three things: his jaded old trunk full of sattu and achaar, a borrowed dream of becoming an IAS officer from his clerk father and lastly to sleep with a milky white Punjabi girl. However, PAKS’s goals begin to change when he falls in love, enrolls for English classes and finds cool friends. Then suddenly he is pushed to the forefront of college elections and he becomes a hero! PAKS is living his ultimate dream…or is he?  What will happen next? Will he ever get what he really wants? Find out in this laughathon full of clichés straight from the cow belt of India.

Namrata Kohli: Journalist, Writer, Foodie, Musician all rolled into one

Journalist, writer, foodie, musician, travel buff, all rolled into one, that is Namrata Kohli for you. Namrata is a well known writer and  journalist who has written extensively for domestic and international media. Especially known for her coverage of real estate issues, Namrata’s work has been published in leading publications such as The Times of India, Economic Times, Property Report Asia, and Gulf based magazines.
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Career
Namrata started her career by working with Bennett Coleman and has written on lifestyle, education, food, healthcare and travel. Recently, she edited “Indian Realty Year Book’-a one of a kind coffee table book on Luxury Real Estate with publisher Hundred Communications, in October 2013; which was featured on NDTV Profit.
Creative energies
When not spinning a yarn with words, she loves to infuse her creative energies into food, music or travel. A self confessed foodie, when not eating her mind is still on food – how by she loves to be ‘concocting meals.’ Playing harmonium and exploring new travel destinations are other passion of her life.
Academics
Namrata is a silver medalist in english literature from Delhi University and has done her mass communication from Indian Institute of Mass Communication. (IIMC) She was selected for a special Executive programme at Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, recently which was sponsored by Goldman Sachs.
Indian Realty Year Book

In a pioneering effort, publishing company Hundred Communications has come out of a first-of-its-kind coffee table book on luxury real estate.
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Indian Realty Yearbook (IRY), the exclusive publication maps the universe of luxury real estate in India. Presenting a snapshot of the Indian luxury market, the book gives a guided tour of key projects in the luxury and branded home segment; cruising along the latest trends and introducing the-best-in-class luxury accessories, gadgets and gizmos. In short, IRY has everything to aid and abet the investor, in his business of cherry picking a home.
Delving into insights that go beyond just ‘facts’, the book deftly captures the ‘facets’ and the essence of luxury. It tries to define luxury in the Indian context, where the luxury residential market in India is headed and the distinguishing characteristics of the Indian luxury home buyer.
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Editor Namrata Kohli who has put together IRY, says that it was ‘just the time’, to capture the luxury end of Indian real estate industry. “Luxury may be just five of the total residential real estate market but growing number of HNIs, makes this space the one to watch out for. In year 2012, India clocked the second highest growth rate of HNI population in the world, next only to Hong Kong, The country has been adding millionaires at one of the fastest rates in the world, and they drive the demand for a life, a living, a living space, which is at par with the best in the world. At the heart of this demand for luxury homes, is the fact, that Indians are becoming affluent, ambitious and aspirational.”
Coffee table book
Informative, insightful and perceptive this coffee table book is supplemented by impactful images that make it a visual treat. But the highlight of the book are perspectives shared from globally acclaimed names on several aspects of Indian luxury real estate – the world’s best, have converged onto one exclusive space ‘By Invitation Only’. Their views ‘quote unquote’ on design, architecture, construction, engineering aspects add value and appeal to the book.
Today, global leaders are betting big on India’s luxury real estate market- Swarovski is seen lending its shine to Indian real estate, Trump giving its trademark to Indian projects, Armani and Versace interior designing of Indian homes, Greg Norman creating premier signature golf courses, Philippe Starck making its foray- we can confidently say that India is where the best minds in luxury space are converging today. Nobody wants to miss a chance of being in India after China, which went from Mao suits to Armani and a ‘luxeplosion’ of sorts in the last decade.
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Atul Pandey, Publisher Indian Realty Yearbook, says that with IRY we have captured, yet another important aspect of the universe of luxury- “As a boutique publishing house, we have so far mapped the segments of beauty, wedding, fashion and lifestyle, in the world of luxury. So far, the luxury residential home space was an unchartered terrain, but we saw potential in this segment. No wonder, there are so many such projects in various stages of construction throughout the country.”
IRY was launched recently by actor Chitrangada Singh, Soha Ali Khan and boxer Vijender Singh at an exclusive event of Indian Realty Awards 2013 held at Hotel Lalit, New Delhi. It was a televised event covered by NDTV Profit.
Hundred Communications (P) Ltd is the name behind some of India’s finest coffee table books across the fields of luxury, fashion, lifestyle, wedding, real estate among others. This boutique publishing house is known for its top end publications. Some of the annual publications include premium fashion guide- Fashion Resource Book and The Great Indian Wedding Book, a luxury coffee table book on signature weddings, launched by Sonam Kapoor last year.
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In an informal chat, Namrata talks about her latest book IRY and other aspects of life to Jayashankar Menon. Excerpts from Interview:

JM: Tell me something about your latest launched coffee table book- IRY?
NK: Indian Realty Yearbook (IRY) is a coffee table book that encapsulates the luxury end of Indian real estate market. India is seeing the advent of branded homes in the organised space – as you know Grand Hyatt Branded Residences, Armani/Versace/Swarovski homes are being launched now, as also the Trump homes, Four Seasons Private residences- all this indicates an appetite for luxury in Indian real estate. These trophy homes or luxury homes celebrate the coming of age of Indian residential real estate. India has recorded the second highest population of HNIs in the world, and logically the first aspect that gets an up gradation is the living space.  There is demand and hence there is supply. Slowly but surely, the story of luxury homes has begun and we felt the urge to document it. Our book aims to be a ready reckoner for anyone looking to buy in this segment, as also create in this segment- in that sense it is targeted at the HNI, as well as the industry stakeholders such as the developers.

JM: You are a well known journalist and writing for leading english daily of India,  so what prompted you to undertake editing of IRY?
NK: I believe this was an exciting opportunity at the right time. I have been tracking real estate for last few years and have developed some insights and interest in this sector. Moreover luxury segment in the real estate sector had not been documented so far in a single place. As they say.. opportunity comes disguised as hard work – you just need to recognise it.

JM: India is the fastest growing economy, luxury segment  is on rise, but still malls  are craving for more sale conversion. Whats your take on this?

NK: True – sales conversion is not adequate. However, there are many high performing retailers, though there are many more under performers. India is a challenging market and one cannot use a cookie cutter approach to succeed here. I feel catering to the Indian buyer is not so easy. We have a certain culture, a set of values and brands that sustain in the long term are those that respect and understand the consumer. The Indian buyer may have a huge appetite for luxury but is value conscious. We may be lavish in taste but discreet in purchase. So, a good brand spends a lot of time understanding the consumer mindset – and evolves itself soon – just copy paste from a foreign market does not always work. As you can see, Mc Donalds sells lots of Aloo Tikki burgers and even KFC serves veggie burgers – these brands have tailored themselves to the market and hence are doing well.

JM: What were the key deciding factor before showcasing any luxury brand in IRY?
NK: To be able to qualify for the book, the brand had to be one with a proven track record, a good reputation and credibility. Two, a presence and interest in India was mandatory – however global in scope, it was important for the brand to have executed a project or be in the stage of execution. For example Foster + Partners is a well known architecture firm and now they are implementing the Ireo township at Gurgaon. Likewise for John Hitchcox’ yoo design studio – their designers such as Jade Jagger and Philip Starcke have designed homes in Pune and Mumbai. There were some brands not ready to talk, yet, about their work, and we respected that – they should feature in our second edition.

JM:What are your future plans? Apart from Indian Realty yearbook, when do you plan to write some book?
NK: A writer breathes through writing – I will embrace just about any project that offers creative excitement and makes for an interesting read. This could range from traditions rooted in the past to the present contemporary issues, the cultural and social milleu, travel and traditions, tourism and weddings – anything that pushes the boundaries of thought and expression. We live in such dynamic times that there is a lot to talk about.

Kemps Corner Crossword Bookstore hosts launch of Varun Gwalani’s novel, ‘Believe it or Not’

Leadstart Publishing and Crossword Bookstore hosted the book launch of Debut Author, VarunGwalani’s novel ‘Believe’ on 25th November, 2013. According to a press statement, the event was held at the Kemps Corner Crossword Bookstore and the novel ‘Believe’ was released by Award Winning Director and Screenwriter ShyamBenegal which was a grand success.
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It was a splendid evening as Benegal spoke about his journey and experience as a writer himself as well as read excerpts from the book which was revered in rapt attention. According to the Author VarunGwalani, this novel is fiction tale that evolves from the depth of our being and the true calling on our lives, it is a story of finding one’s self in this world of confusion and chaos. The event was truly moving as the guests listened with enthusiasm and awe at the presence that Mr.Benegal embodied and the story telling ability of the young and vibrant Author VarunGwalani.
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Swarup Nanda, CEO of Leadstart Publishing said: “Leadstart Publishing is always on the hunt for new literary talent who aspire to share their tales for the world to witness. VarunGwalani is a bright young author with a glorious future ahead and we are glad to have it kick-start with Leadstart! We sincerely thank Mr.ShyamBenegal for gracing us at the event”.

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Have you ever felt that special kind of happiness that comes when you’re doing something that makes you feel like you’re truly in touch with your inner self? Imagine yourself in the peaceful, happy state doing that something special that makes you feel fulfilled, feel like you’re doing what you were born to do.Now imagine yourself torn from there, imagine every work you’ve ever done claimed to be the cause of misery for every person you love and imagine that the work you were doing might now not be the work you were born to do. Experience that for a minute.Now you know a little of how Conner White felt. This revelation led Conner White to the small town of Levion, where he sought to find himself. There he met Victoria, a young girl who was fighting her own inner demons.Soon, however, dark secrets are exposed all around, and Conner has to fight not just to save himself, but Victoria and the town of Levion as well.Believe provides you with a story that not only grips you, but provides you with insight into the very nature of our own beliefs.

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VarunGwalani is an 18-year old resident of Mumbai, studying Arts in Jai Hind College. He’s been an avid reader all his life. Some of his favourite authors include Paulo Coelho, J.K. Rowling, George Orwell and O.Henry. Varun has always dreamed of being an author with the ability to tell a story that will fascinate and engage the reader. Over a period of three years, he has written a collection of over fifty short stories.This is his first published work.

Landmark unveils Apurv Nagpal’s new book, ‘Eighteen Plus’

Landmark is all set to launch the book ‘Eighteen Plus’ by Apurv Nagpal at Landmark store, Forum Mall, Koramangala on November 29, 2013 at 6.00 pm. Fans will get a chance to interact with the author during the launch.

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‘Eighteen plus’ is collection of desi, funny, quirky short stories. The stories in book are down right wickedly naughty and laugh-out-loud funny. They are perfect for those hours at work when the boss is not watching or for those empty moments at night after the kids have gone to bed and you both just can’t sleep. ‘Eighteen Plus’ is set to be India’s sensual literary awakening. Interested readers will be able to find out more about the book at Landmark store, Forum Mall, Koramangala. So, what are you waiting for?

Interview with the author of ‘The Almond Tree’, Michelle Cohen Corasanti

This is the maiden novel of a Jewish New Yorker, Michelle Cohen Corasanti, titled: ‘The Almond Tree’. Published only in English for now, the book is available on Amazon.com. It is an epic novel, a drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner, but set in Palestine. A beauty. A story that grabs you from the first page and makes your heart go out to the Palestinians without pointing a finger at anyone, without transmitting hatred. In a free-wheeling chat with Jayashankar Menon, Corasanti opens up and answers a volley of questions.

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JM The Almond Tree is your debut novel, but it is creating right noise all over, do you think that your novel will bring some change in the outlook of people towards Israel-Palestine conflict?

MCC: It already has. You can see it in the reviews of The Almond Tree on goodreads and amazon. A story has the power to bring about change. Look at Uncle Tom’s Cabin that President Lincoln allegedly stated brought about the civil war that ended slavery. The Almond Tree shines a light on the human side of the conflict. People relate more to stories such as five were killed. Awareness leads to understanding and understanding leads to change.

JM: What prompted you to pick this issue and write on it?
MCC: I didn’t choose the issue, the issue chose me. I went to Israel completely unaware when I was in high school. I had the misfortune of witnessing, over a seven year period, the horrible situation. My conscious would not allow me to be a bystander to human suffering.

JM: Tell Indian readers something about your novel?
MCC: Through my novel, I try to put people in Palestinian shoes so that they can try and see what it’s like to be Palestinian. I wrote in the voice of a Palestinian for two reasons, One is, as a Jewish American, people consider this a statement against interest and as such people believe it weighs more than the testimony of the victim. It’s like the competent confession of a perpetrator in a rape is a conviction whereas the testimony of the victim is not. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was written by a white woman in the voice of a black slave. I lived there for seven years, I have my undergraduate degree from Hebrew University and graduate degree from Harvard, both in Middle Eastern studies. I’m also a lawyer trained in human and international rights. And I’m a Jewish American so I knew my voice would be hard to dismiss.
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Secondly, although I wrote in a Palestinian’s voice, the story is told through my eyes. I can’t think of anything in my story that isn’t fictionalized reality. I want the reader to be a witness to the things I saw and learned about so the reader can see what it’s like to witness such a situation. I hope in that way to create awareness.

JM: In your novel you have driven a point that all these conflicts are politically driven, since the time you have started evaluating this issue or doing research on this, have you seen a positive perception change both at societal and political level?

MCC: The conflict is about land and power, not religion. It’s about colonialism. I have seen the situation on the ground worsen. According to Israeli statistics, there are slightly more Palestinians living under Israel, than Jewish Israelis. Yet the Israelis live in a democracy with rights and the Palestinians are not entitled to the same rights. It seems that the majority of Israelis have become more right-wing and the military rule under which the Palestinians live is more brutal. Perceptions in the US, however, are changing. There is more awareness, among both Jewish and non-Jewish Americans.

JM: What are your future plans? Are you planning to write any more fiction addressing other issues?

MCC: I’m currently finishing my next book. I wrote the Nora-Ahmed story from Nora’s POV. Whereas that story was but a section in The Almond Tree, in my new book, it is the whole book. That may have something to do with what love means to a woman and what it means to a man. Although Nora and Ahmed have similar political views, the way she sees their story and the way Ahmed saw it are so radically different. I find that reflects the conflict, the same situation, two radically different interpretations. Perception is stronger than reality. Also it’s a social commentary about the most pressing issues facing Americans. The Almond Tree was about those issues faced by Palestinians. I wrote The Almond Tree in more of a Khaled Hosseini style because that style captured the reality as I saw it between the Palestinians and Israelis. In the new book, I was trying to capture what it was like for me to come from a world like the one described in The Almond Tree and then go to college at Harvard. Nora is who I wished I could have been, but I use her to capture American reality through the eyes of someone who lived in Jerusalem. Also I wanted to show what she saw when she was in Israel. The only way I could do this was to use a Twilight/Fifty Shades type of style and to write in present tense. We would request you, that through our blog please convey a message to the readers.

I hope we can all learn to celebrate differences and work together to advance humanity. Learn that we were put on this earth to lift each other up. May the battles that we fight be for the advancement of humanity, thank you for the interview.

Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s book, The Almond Tree is an epic novel set in Palestine

This is the maiden novel of a Jewish New Yorker, Michelle Cohen Corasanti, titled: ‘The Almond Tree’. Published only in English for now, the book is available on Amazon.com. It is an epic novel, a drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner, but set in Palestine. A beauty. A story that grabs you from the first page and makes your heart go out to the Palestinians without pointing a finger at anyone, without transmitting hatred. A proposal to live in peace and democracy for all. An adventure that brings you into the magical world that travelers used to cross on horseback or camel towards Beirut, Amman or Cairo.
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A land where Christians, Muslims and Jews shared their traditions for centuries. Where the children inherited the land, generation after generation, and the clans stayed together. Where modesty was a way of life and a man was nothing unless he stood up for his family. Where courage was not the absence of fear, but the absence of selfishness. Where children learned a fundamental principle of life: decency.
The Almond Tree is the saga of a Palestinian boy who, when he encounters obstacles must look inward and understand that soldiers are only human beings and that war is merely politics. From a boy who must discover that success is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall. Because it is impossible to go back in time and change the beginning, but you can always start over and change the ending.

This book has the potential to ignite a thirst for greater knowledge and understanding. Corasanti’s story present us with a dilemma, she has narrated the other side of the story in a beautiful manner. It sheds a new light on the ongoing Palestinian/Israeli conflict and tries to generate an awareness that can halt the destruction of the Palestinian people and restore compassion and justice to the Israeli soul. What is more, this is novel takes a new and tough stand on humanity.

Slew of appreciation

The Almond Tree has received humungous accolades. Here are a few comments:

“Corasanti’s tale of resilience, hope and forgiveness is a must-read both for those who are stumbling through the Israeli-Palestinian minefield for the first time, and others who know its sorrows all too well”, Washington Report on the Middle East said.

…for Americans to put themselves in the Palestinians’ shoes, it will take a miracle. The good news is that the miracle is already happening. Peace will not result from any political negotiation table, neither in Madrid, nor Oslo. The miracle is happening thanks to a work of fiction; a novel that I predict will become one of the biggest bestsellers of the decade. This is the first novel of a Jewish New Yorker, Michelle Cohen Corasanti, and is titled The Almond Tree. For the time being it is only in English, The Almond Tree can be bought on Amazon.com. It is an epic novel, a drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner, but set in Palestine. A beauty.A story that grabs you from the first page and makes your heart go out to the Palestinians without pointing a finger at anyone, without transmitting hatred. A proposal to live in peace and democracy for all. Huffington Post, Spnish TV and Radio Host Guillermo Fesser, Artículo: huffingtonpost.es/guillermo-fesser/en-la-piel-de-los-palestinos_b_2945533.html and majalla.com/arb/2013/05/article55245056.

President Barak Obama while speaking to Jewish students in Israel recently said: “Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents, every single day.”