Pittalwala, Iqbal

views updated

Pittalwala, Iqbal


Born in Bombay, India; immigrated to the United States, 1985. Education: State University of New York at Stony Brook, Ph.D.; Iowa Writers Workshop, M.F.A., 1995.


Home—CA. Office—University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92692.


University of California, Riverside, campus communications officer, Riverside Extension, creative writing teacher; University of California, Irvine, assistant director of science and technology communications.


Dear Paramount Pictures: Stories, Southern Methodist University Press (Dallas, TX), 2002.

Contributor of short fiction to a number of journals, including Seattle Review, Blue Mesa Review, Trikone, and Confrontation.


Born and raised in Bombay, India, Iqbal Pittalwala initially moved to the United States in order to pursue a doctorate in atmospheric sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Purely by chance, he signed up for a writing class in an attempt to work through his writer's block regarding his dissertation, unaware that the class was in fiction writing. He soon discovered both an affinity and a love for the new type of writing, and eventually went on to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. Pittalwala has written a number of short stories that have been published in journals, including the Seattle Review and Blue Mesa Review, and have been published as a collection, Dear Paramount Pictures: Stories. The book went on to earn a nomination for the Pushcart Prize for Fiction. Pittalwala's stories include both the flavor of his native India and of his adopted country, the United States. In the title story, an elderly woman in Bombay is convinced that the American movie actor James Dean has been reincarnated as Nuruddin All Ahmed, and writes to Paramount Studios in Los Angeles to inform them. In another story, a boy's classmate informs him that his father is having an affair, while in another, a Pakistani woman marries an American only to find he is really homosexual. The stories illuminate a variety of facets of human emotion and experience, from loneliness to the sudden shock of revelation. A writer for Kirkus Reviews commented that "the narrative techniques here are mostly trite, and ethnic tags are thought to suffice in spots where, in literature, beauty and artfulness might otherwise reside." However, in a review for the Antioch Review, contributor Kyle Minor remarked on Pittalwala's deference to his themes, stating that he "handles them throughout with a delicate hand, good humor, and a remarkable insight into the human condition."



Antioch Review, September 22, 2003, Kyle Minor, review of Dear Paramount Pictures: Stories, p. 787.

Georgia Review, fall, 2003, Kathleen Snodgrass, "Attention Must Be Paid," review of Dear Paramount Pictures, pp. 642-653.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2002, review of Dear Paramount Pictures, p. 1258.

Virginia Quarterly Review, winter, 2003, review of Dear Paramount Pictures, p. 22.


Texas A&M University Press Web site,http://www.tamu.edu/ (April 30, 2007), author biography.

University of California at Riverside Faculty Home Page,http://staffassembly.ucr.edu/ (April 30, 2007), faculty biography.

University of California at Riverside Library Web site,http://library.ucr.edu/ (April 30, 2007), faculty biography.

About this article

Pittalwala, Iqbal

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article