Our Stories
An Introduction to South Asian America

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About the book

“. . . to suddenly discover yourself existing . . . .”

Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America is an anthology rooted in community.

Bringing together the voices of sixty-four authors—including a wide range of scholars, artists, journalists, and community members—Our Stories weaves together the myriad histories, experiences, perspectives, and identities that make up the South Asian American community.

This volume consists of ten chapters that explore both the history of South Asian America, spanning from the 1780s through the present day, and various aspects of the South Asian American experience, from civic engagement to family. Each chapter offers stories of struggle, resistance, inspiration, and joy that disrupt dominant narratives that have erased South Asian Americans’ role in U.S. history and made restrictions on our belonging.

By combining these narratives, Our Stories illustrates the diversity, vibrancy, and power of the South Asian American community.
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Early South Asian American History (pre-1923)
Chapter 2: Forging Lives in Uncertain Times (1923–1965)
Chapter 3: Immigration after the Civil Rights Movement (1965– )
Chapter 4: Post-9/11
Chapter 5: Identity & Equality
Chapter 6: Faith & Religion
Chapter 7: Civic Engagement
Chapter 8: Arts & Popular Culture
Chapter 9: Work, Labor, and Entrepreneurship
Chapter 10: Family

Download the table of contents & list of insets for Our Stories.
Read excerpts
The introduction to Our Stories begins with the following lines:

As a person of South Asian heritage reading this book, you have perhaps wondered how your story fits into the American story. While South Asian American stories are rarely taught in classrooms, found in textbooks, or reflected in popular media, it is not because they do not exist. As you will soon read, our stories have existed for centuries. You are part of a community that has helped build, shape, question, challenge, and make this country what it is today. Our stories have been etched into the very landscape and character of the nation.

See sample pages from the print book:


What our readers are saying
"What a magnificent achievement! I'm showing it to people and refusing to lend it to any."
- C. M. Naim


"I received my copy of Our Stories in the mail yesterday and was filled with so much emotion. To see our history in print and the beautiful cover—it meant so much. I was overjoyed. THANK YOU for this beautiful contribution. I am thrilled to have this text to share with others, to include in my courses, and to learn from and with my children."
- Ruchi Ranganath


What does Our Stories mean to you? Please let us know! 🙋🏾‍♀️
Authors & Contributors
Our Stories brings together the voices of sixty-four authors, including a wide range of scholars, artists, journalists, and community members.

Chapter 1: Early South Asian American History (pre-1923)
Dr. Seema Sohi (ed.), Dr. Rajender Kaur, Dr. Vivek Bald, Dr. Anupama Arora, Kartar Dhillon, and Dr. Paul Englesberg

Chapter 2: Forging Lives in Uncertain Times (1923–1965)
Dr. Kritika Agarwal (ed.), Philip Deslippe, Dr. Meenasarani Linde Murugan, Samip Mallick, and Dr. Nico Slate

Chapter 3: Immigration after the Civil Rights Movement (1965– )
Dr. Fariha Khan (ed.), Dr. Erika Lee, Dr. Diditi Mitra, Dr. Pawan Dhingra, Dr. Shweta Majumdar Adur, Dr. Retika Adhikari, and Nadia Misir

Chapter 4: Post-9/11
Dr. Rajini Srikanth (ed.), Deepa Iyer, Marina Budhos, Samina Najmi, Imran Siddiquee, Anant Raut, and Valarie Kaur

Chapter 5: Identity & Equality
Dr. Radha Modi (ed.), Dr. Manan Desai, Mala Nagarajan, Sasha Wijeyeratne, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Suzanne C. Persard, and V. V. Ganeshananthan

Chapter 6: Faith & Religion
Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi (ed.) and Dr. Bandana Purkayastha (ed.)

Chapter 7: Civic Engagement
Dr. Monisha Das Gupta (ed.), Hasan Ferdous, Hamid Khan, Dr. Soniya Munshi, Dr. Alisa Perkins, Dr. SaunJuhi Verma, and Dr. Sangay Mishra

Chapter 8: Arts & Popular Culture
Dr. Nilanjana Bhattacharjya (ed.), Dr. Shilpa Davé (ed.), Neelanjana Banerjee, Dr. Vivek Bald, Dr. Stanley Thangaraj, Akshat Tewary, Vasef Sajid, Dr. Jigna Desai, Dr. Neilesh Bose, Dr. Meenasarani Linde Murugan, Dr. J. Daniel Elam, Dr. Sarah Morelli, and Yasmin Sabina Khan

Chapter 9: Work, Labor, and Entrepreneurship
Dr. Pawan Dhingra (ed.), Chitra Aiyar, Adhikaar, Sindya Bhanoo, and Dr. Vibha Bhalla

Chapter 10: Family
Dr. Amy Bhatt (ed.), Dr. Amber Abbas (ed.), Dr. Karen Isaksen Leonard, Shiwani Srivastava, Kavita Pillay, Dr. Nalini Iyer, Ganesh Iyer, Mallika Iyer, Vega Subramaniam, and Mala Nagarajan
With gratitude
What initially started as a book about community soon came to be a community of its own. It is only because of the support of that community that this book is in existence today.

We are deeply grateful to the 407 backers who supported Our Stories on Kickstarter, believing in the importance of this project before a single page was written. The generosity of these supporters has ensured that South Asian American stories can now be shared in homes, schools, and libraries across the country.

Our thanks also go to the twenty-two community members who served as early readers for Our Stories, and whose thoughtful feedback improved the book immeasurably.

The hundreds of insets, image captions, and other ancillary materials in this book were primarily authored by two individuals, Imran Siddiquee and Nivetha Karthikeyan. The editor for Our Stories is Heidi Hill, the design was created by Brian Cook, the layout was done by Varisa Tantiwasadakran, and the website design was created by Safwat Saleem.

Our Stories is a product of all of the love and labor that has gone into SAADA over the past thirteen years. Make your gift today to join us in shaping a more just and inclusive future!