Punching at the Sun

Tanuj Chopra in Person

Set during the sweltering heat of summer in post-9/11 Queens, Punching at the Sun concerns a Pakistani American teen, Mameet Nayak, consumed with personal and social demons after his older brother is murdered in their family's corner store. Not only does Nayak have to struggle with his own guilt, but his borough is wrought with racial tensions. In a black and white world, Nayak and his desi (South Asian American) friends quickly learn that being brown and Muslim is to be both invisible and hypervisible. Tackling the complexities of race and resentment, Chopra moves beyond formulaic family melodramas and exotic cultural ethnographies. His piercing look into the contemporary experience of desi youth asks difficult questions about America's delicate social balance, and refuses to indulge in easy resolutions.

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