‘That Was The Dream’: A Children’s Book Author Puts Sikh Character Front And Center

When Simran Jeet Singh was growing up in San Antonio, his was one of the few Sikh families in the area. He longed to see Sikhs portrayed in the books he read; to see other people, like the men in his family, wear beards and turbans as part of their religious tradition. But he was usually disappointed. Today, he’s a writer, professor and activist living in New York City. The birth of his daughter inspired him to write a children’s book about Fauja Singh, the oldest person to have ever run a marathon. Fauja is Sikh, and he crossed the finish line when he was 100 years old. When Fauja set that record, “that was the day that I started running,” Singh said. His book, “Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon,” is the first book about a Sikh character to be published by a major American publishing house.

“It put us in this strange sort of situation where we always felt like we had to explain who we were and even justify our existence.”...

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