Vijay Nair, an Indian writer and playwright who spent eight months in Pittsburgh in 2012-13 working on a book about the steel industry, has died in his hometown of Bangalore, India.
Henry Reese, co-founder of the City of Asylum program on the North Side that hosts international writers, including Mr. Nair for two different stints, said Mr. Nair's wife sent word over the weekend about his death. The Hindu newspaper reported that Mr. Nair, 50, died Friday of cardiac arrest.
Mr. Nair wrote in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette essay published June 2 ("Pittsburgh and Jamshedpur: Steel Cities, a World Apart") of his present work on a book comparing the decline of the steel industry in Pittsburgh with the struggles taking place for the industry in Jamshedpur, the city he grew up in before moving to Bangalore. He was conducting the research by virtue of a Fulbright senior research grant, and he gave a public presentation of his work in a City of Asylum program in March.
During his recent eight-month stay here that ended in June, Mr. Nair spent time conducting extensive interviews with people who had worked in the region's steel industry, Mr. Reese said. He also made an impression, Mr. Reese said, with numerous dinners he hosted for others in his residence on Sampsonia Way. "He had that kind of engaging spirit, a great degree of sociability," Mr. Reese said.