Cook by the Book: “Radiant Fugitives”

Cook by the Book:
Radiant Fugitives

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Please join us for a special Beyond the Book experience as we continue our Cook by the Book series online. We are thrilled to partner with Maite Gomez-Rejon of ArtBites, to create an Indian luncheon inspired by the family meals prepared in the novel Radiant Fugitives. We may not be able to share a kitchen at this time, but we can virtually cook together and share a meal. Our event will open with a book club and conversation with the author Nawaaz Ahmed who will be joining Julie Robinson to talk about the inspirations for the book and the memories of sharing food. We will then prepare a savory lunch, and all sit down to enjoy what we have cooked and continue our conversation. PLEASE NOTE WE WILL BE JOINED BY THE AUTHOR FOR THE FIRST HOUR ONLY.


An Indian meal based on the novel. 


You will receive an email with the recipes and equipment needed before the event date.


Wednesday, November 3

11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Your own kitchen and table.

$115 per household.

Space is limited. NO REFUNDS.


Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children.

But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love — a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.

Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.


Nawaaz Ahmed is a transplant from Tamil Nadu, India. Before turning to writing, he was a computer scientist, researching search algorithms for Yahoo. He holds an MFA from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is the winner of several Hopwood awards. He is the recipient of residencies from Macdowell, VCCA, Yaddo, and Djerassi. He is a former Kundiman and Lambda Literary Fellow. He lives in Brooklyn. Radiant Fugitives is his first novel.


Maite Gomez-Rejón is the founder of ArtBites. She has dedicated her career to exploring the nexus of art and culinary history through lectures, cooking classes, and tastings presented in museums across the country and on her YouTube channel – ArtBites: Cooking Art History. She has been a guest on the Today Show, featured in Food & Wine magazine, and interviewed on KCRW’s Good Food and NPR’s Splendid Table. Her essays and articles have been published in Life & Thyme, Eaten Magazine, Gastro Obscura and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History.