Former ‘30 Rock’ and ‘Sanjay and Craig’ star Maulik Pancholy is writing a novel.
The actor tweeted the news of his book deal on Monday. “‘The. Best. At. It.’ is about a gay Indian boy growing up in a small town in Indiana, dealing with the shifting dynamics of friendship and bullying in middle school,” the press release tweeted by the actor read. The novel will be geared towards the middle grade audience.
— Maulik Pancholy (@MaulikPancholy) July 10, 2018
While “The. Best. At. It.” will be Pancholy’s first novel, the Ohio-born actor has a long history of working on behalf of Asian-American students who face bullying in school. As a member of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) under President Obama, Pancholy frequently spoke out about the need to combat the bullying and harassment of Asian Americans students in educational environments.
So delighted to welcome @MaulikPancholy to the children's book community with his incredible middle-grade debut https://t.co/l7PEmkIzFx. Be warned that you will all be falling in love with this book! pic.twitter.com/xkwl10pWLK
— Alessandra Balzer (@ABBalzer) July 10, 2018
“When I was a kid I was scrawny and I had braces and glasses and I was often called a nerd,” Pancholy told viewers in a YouTube video launching the commission’s #ActToChange movement in 2015. “I was dealing with being gay in a pretty conservative town and sometimes kids made me feel like I was different because I was Indian American. And some of you might have it even worse….It’s OK to be weird, but it’s not OK to be bullied.”
In a Huffington Post op-ed last year in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, Pancholy noted that as a WHIAAPI commissioner he was startled to learn that bullying victims were disproportionately Asian American. The commission found that half of all Asian-American students reported being bullying and, of that group, Sikh and Muslim students were often particularly targeted because of their religion and attire.
“We’ve seen that certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying,” he wrote in a 2015 post on the official WHIAAPI site introducing the #ActToChange campaign.
“The.Best.At.It.” is expected to be published in the fall of 2019.