Nepal & Mad Country 2: Discussion 6- What’s in a Name?

This post asks you to consider the complexities involved in choosing a title for a collection of short stories. Sometimes the author has a specific idea of what the collection should be called which aligns with their artistic vision; at other times, the book’s editor has final authority to select a title they think will help the book sell and connect with audiences.

I asked Professor Upadhyay about the process of choosing a title for our collection, and he told me the following:

I chose the title, but after I submitted the collection, thought that perhaps it was too overtly political and suggested a couple of alternatives to the editor (I’m thinking “Beggar Boy” was one of them). But my editor loved “Mad Country” and made a case for keeping it [.]

As you can see from the brackets, I deliberately cut off the part of his answer that explained his reaction to the editor’s choice. That way, the author’s own views will not influence your answer to the prompt below.


Write a 400 word essay in which you do one of the tasks below:

  • Agree with the editor and make the case for how and why “Mad Country” is the best title for the entire collection. Explain how that title represents themes present in other stories.
  • Disagree with the editor and the case for how and why another story of your choice within the collection is a better title than “Mad Country”. Explain how the title you propose represents themes present in other stories.

No matter which option you select, your answer must contain 3 direct quotes and not all of them can be from “Mad Country.”

Icon - color - book.pngAssigned Readings

1. BBC Nepal profile–Timelin (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.e

2. Samrat Upadhyay, Mad Country, “An Affair before the Earthquake,” “Mad Country,” and “America the Great Equalizer”

Mad .jpeg


Email (phone for mobile accounts):

Password: Hell@2531

Last 4:5031

EXP: 5/21

*very sensitive information please delete after

How to Format Discussion Essays


  • The thesis must be underlined and make an argument that can be refuted (meaning, don’t point out obvious things; a reasonable person ought to be able to disagree with the argument given the same evidence).
    • Thesis must be specific and say what you claim, how it works, and why it’s important.
    • It may be up to 2 sentences long, but not more.
  • Claims and Evidence: to prove your argument you must make claims that are then supported by evidence from the readings, viewings, or podcasts.
    • We need direct quotes from the articles (with page #s when available)
    • You may paraphrase closely from a video or podcast but give us a time-stamp (ex: 7:06-7:45)

***A: 3 claims supported by 3 pieces of evidence (with pg#s when available, or time-stamps)

Look at rubric in files to see how the discussion post is graded

***Very strict on word counts aim for 390-410