The most amazing course I took at NYU Abu Dhabi was definitely The Outsider taught by Deepak Unnikrishnan.
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“It was a Monday, and a 10:45am class,” first year student Amina Bašić recalled. She walked into her first year writing seminar class, called The Outsider, sat among unknown faces, feeling like an outsider herself.
In the News
NYUAD Arts and Humanities faculty and researchers are frequently featured in the local and international media.
A closer look at how the fiction novel has changed over time
Elle India | December 14, 2018
Dublin Literary Award Names Its 2019 Librarian-Nominated Longlist
Publishing Perspectives | November 20, 2018
Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan
Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan named on the longlist for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award.
Dublin Literary Award | November 19, 2018
Forms: A Conversation with Deepak Unnikrishnan
The Margins Mongrel | October 31, 2018
Moore Prize Winner 2018
The judges of the Moore Prize 2018 have announced that Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan is the winning book.
Christopher G. Moore Foundation | October 30, 2018
Arundhati Roy and Jeet Thayil on the longlist of the 2018 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Scroll.in | October 2018
Shortlist announced for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize
The Times of India | August 9, 2018
The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize announces its shortlist for 2018
Scroll.in | August 2018
A Reading List to Remind You that All Borders Are Fictional
Electric Literature | July 19, 2018
Temporary People: A Review
The Carolina Quarterly | July 2018
‘I wanted to trace and exhume people who are expected to quietly disappear’
SouthWord | June 13, 2018
Anjali Enjeti on Rabindranath Tagore’s Poetry and Porochista Khakpour’s Fearless Criticism
Book Marks | May 9, 2018
On temporality and the Gulf city
Mashallah News | May 9, 2018
It took novelist Deepak Unnikrishnan 10 years to write his award-winning ode to the immigrant worker
In ‘Chabter Nine’ titled Nalinakshi in Deepak Unnikrishnan’s debut novel, Temporary People (Penguin Random House, 2017), an 80-year-old woman from Nadavaramba, Thrissur, Kerala, relays her understanding of the Malayalam word pravasi, which literally means outsider.
Elle India | April 6, 2018
If They Gave Oscars to Books, Our 2017 Nominees
Literary Hub | March 2, 2018
The Believer Book Award: Editors’ Short List
The Believer | March 2018
The 12 Worst Workplaces in Contemporary Literature
Electric Literature | February 9, 2018
Writing Matters: In conversation with Deepak Unnikrishnan
Kitaab | February 9, 2018
Polyfon kakafoni om gästarbetare (Swedish)
Arbetahistoria | January-February, 2018
Temporary People Wins the 2017 Hindu Prize for Fiction
LA Public Library | January 20, 2018
Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan
Necessary Fiction | January 18, 2018
The chronicler of Temporary People
sabzreport | January 17, 2018
Deepak Unnikrishnan bags ‘The Hindu Prize 2017’ for ‘Temporary People’
Deepak Unnikrishnan bagged the coveted The Hindu Prize 2017 for his ode to the ‘pravasi’ Malayalee - ‘Temporary People’. Receiving his award from British novelist and journalist Sebastian Faulks
The Hindu | January 15, 2018
Reading the Migrant Experience in Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People
Ploughshares | January 15, 2018
Top 11 Books I Read in 2017
Reading and Gaming for Justice | January 2, 2018
‘Meaning’ and ‘Panic’ in Malayali Diaspora Literature
Kerala Calling | January 2018, Vol 38, No 3
Magical Realism Story Collections for the Trump Era
Post Road Magazine | Issue 33
The Abu Dhabi-based writer uses feats of imagination to bring voices to country’s many inhabitants.
The Culture Trip | October 28, 2017
New Public Programme Deciphers UAE through Food, Sport and Music
Where can you get the best bread in Abu Dhabi for Dh2 or less? Where is the best place to eat Ugandan or Ethiopian food? Do you have what it takes to find fresh coconut water from Kerala, or are you only able to find the sort that comes from Sri Lanka? For the writer Deepak Unnikrishnan, who grew up on Abu Dhabi’s Hamdan Street, such questions are more than a matter of taste, memory or nostalgia, they’re one of the key techniques he uses to entice his students beyond the confines of New York University Abu Dhabi’s (NYUAD) Saadiyat Island campus.
The National | September 10, 2017
5 Hot Books; Do Bad Brains Create Murders? Dictionary Stories and More
Five books worth reading are briefly explored.
The National Book Review | March 26, 2017
Stories of Fragmented Lives in the Emirates - Book Review
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s novel-in-stories narrates a series of metamorphoses. Guest workers dissolve into passports, a man begins “moonlighting as a mid-sized hotel” and a sultan harvests a fresh crop of laborers.
The New York Times | March 24, 2017
Book Review of Temporary People
Unnikrishnan explores the depredations, sorrows, and longings of these foreign laborers, who are often treated as disposable, with a dark whimsy. The style varies widely; one tale consists simply of a list of professions and adjectives. Some of the longer allegorical stories—achieving the proper mix of absurdity and pathos.
Publishers Weekly | March 14, 2017
Book Review of Temporary People
In 28 engrossing linked stories, Unnikrishnan blends Malayalam, Arabic, and English slang as well as South Asian and Persian Gulf cultures to capture the disjunction and dissociation of temporary foreign workers who live in the Arabian Peninsula but will never receive citizenship.
KIRKUS Reviews | March 14, 2017
Book Review of Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People is a riveting debut collection of twenty-eight short stories written in a mélange of stylistic registers. Fiction, Unnikrishnan writes, has “barely addressed the so-called guest workers of the (Arabian) Gulf.”
World Literature Today | March 2017
Temporary People depicts the lives of guest workers in the UAE
The sense of displacement, of disconnect begins on the cover: The words “A Novel” written sideways, unobtrusively stamped along the left side under the title Temporary People, might be considered misleading. Made up of three "books" that comprise eight, nine, and 10 chapters respectively, Deepak Unnikrishnan’s debut is more accurately a collection of (very) loosely interlinked stories.
The Christian Science Monitor | March 14, 2017
There Is No Second Generation: Deepak Unnikrishnan’s ‘Temporary People’
Temporary People is not an elegy or lament. While it documents the scatterings and dismemberments that follow from non-existent labour standards and racism, it reveals interior lives that are too easily reduced to jokes or numbers in migration studies. Unnikrishnan asks us to consider this absence and feel it on our tongues.
The Wire, India | March 13, 2017
Unnikrishnan’s ‘Temporary People’ captures the plight of workers in the UAE
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s new novel is made even more moving by the author’s statement about writing it: “ ‘Temporary People’ is a work of fiction set in the UAE, where I was raised and where foreign nationals constitute over 80 percent of the population. It is a nation built by people who are eventually required to leave.”
The Washington Post | March 13, 2017
The man who became a suitcase. The ‘fone’ that let people talk forever. The migrant who tried to fly
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s stories in Temporary People are linked and then reappear in a somewhat cyclical way. The title draws on the uninterrupted supply of temporary workers – mainly from South and South-East Asia to the Gulf states – a necessity for oil-rich West Asian city-states and governments since the 1960s, as they sought to develop and build their luxurious world-class desert cities.
Schrol, India | March 5, 2017