PEN/Hemingway finalist and 2022-23 Hodder Fellow Jamil Jan Kochai reads from his latest short story collection, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories, a 2022 National Book Award longlist selection. His stories bring his contemporary Afghan characters to life, moving between modern-day Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora in America, as they grapple with the ghosts of war and displacement—and one that speaks to the immediate political landscape we reckon with today. Followed by a conversation with Director of the Program in Creative Writing Yiyun Li and a book signing (books will be available for purchase at the event).

Tickets & Details

The reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or advance registration required.


Get directions and find venue information for the Wallace Theater at the Lewis Arts complex.

COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all guests must either be fully vaccinated, or have recently tested negative (via PCR within 72 hours or via rapid antigen test within 8 hours of the scheduled visit) and be prepared to show proof if asked, or wear a face covering when indoors and around others.


symbol for wheelchair accessibilityThe Wallace Theater is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Students in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least one week in advance of the event date.


About Jamil Jan Kochai

jamil kochai with dark hair and beard looks off to the left. He wears a dark shirt and jacket and stands outside by a wood fence

Photo by Jalil Kochai

Jamil Jan Kochai is the author of 99 Nights in Logar (Viking, 2019), a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. He was born in an Afghan refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, but he originally hails from Logar, Afghanistan. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Short Stories 2021. His essays have been published at The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Kochai was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded the Henfield Prize for Fiction. His second book, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories (Viking) will be published in July 2022. During his year as a 2022-23 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, Kochai will be completing his second novel.

Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts