The cover of Radiant Fugitives

Radiant Fugitives

Nawaaz Ahmed, PhD ’00

“Ahmed swings for the fences in this luminously intelligent, culturally magisterial debut,” raves Kirkus. The Indian-born author, who holds a doctorate in computer science, is a former researcher at Yahoo. His first novel has garnered multiple accolades, including being named a best book of the month by Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, and Time. The plot involves a fractured Muslim Indian family that tries to reconnect over the course of a week in San Francisco. Set during the presidential primary season that would ultimately lead to the election of Barack Obama, it centers on a queer woman, estranged from her relatives in India, who’s about to give birth to a son fathered by a man to whom she was briefly married. “Ahmed’s complex, ambitious debut is narrated by a fetus who—like his literary cousin in Ian McEwan’s Nutshell—has narrative art to spare,” Kirkus says, adding, “Every difficulty and heartbreak takes its place alongside many others in this painful story shaped by both Islamophobia and homophobia.”