Asha Lemmie finds links to the present by exploring the past in Fifty Words For Rain

Asha Lemmie finds links to the present by exploring the past in Fifty Words For Rain

Asha Lemmie‘s historical fiction Fifty Words For Rain is an expansive exploration into a woman’s coming of age in post-World War II Japan. She takes readers into a world and lets them play there while mistakes are made, secrets are revealed, and desires are tempted. The book itself is like a sibling to Lemmie. She started it in high school and grew up with it. There was no MFA or workshops. Just a decade of perseverance chasing a teenage dream.

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Jenny Bhatt wants to read stories from every culture

Jenny Bhatt wants to read stories from every culture

Jenny Bhatt is a writer, translator, and host of the Desi Books podcast. She is outspoken on Twitter about the need for diversity in publishing and is an advocate for all writers and not just ones who share her background.

Her debut story collection, Each of Us Killers, is about Indians in the workforce. The typical tropes readers, editors, and agents might expect from a South Asian writer are nowhere to be found. The book is the culmination of years of desire and hard work. She spent years in corporate America while writing on the side before moving back to India to pursue her debut seriously.

I spoke with Jenny Bhatt about her writing history, how her book finally came together, and how publishing has changed since she queried the book back in 2017.

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6 debut books you should read this September

6 debut books you should read this September

Each month, Debutiful will recommend a handful of buzzworthy and under-the-radar debut books for you to read.

It’s already September? Gone are the dog days of a summer. Most of which we all probably spent in doors. Autumn is usually a time for cozy books to come out to curl up as the weather drops. This year is no different when it comes to literary releases, but the whole world feels different. The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. An American election feels like a turning point for the future of mankind. Countless acts of racism and murders of Black people by police. All of these things deserve our attention.

If you need to escape for a few hours a day, try these debut books. Below you’ll find stories from abroad, thrillers, and down right beautiful prose.

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Greg Mania is all about laughs, yellow, and being public

Greg Mania is all about laughs, yellow, and being public

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Greg Mania is a writer, comedian, and award-winning screenwriter. He has been published all over the internet and in print at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, O, The Oprah Magazine, PAPER, HuffPost, Out, BOMB, Electric Literature, and so much more. He is also the recipient of the Grand Prize of the Fourth Annual Stage 32 Comedy Writing Contest.

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Meet seven writers collected in the Pen America Best Debut Short Stories 2020 anthology

Meet seven writers collected in the Pen America Best Debut Short Stories 2020 anthology

Every year, PEN America releases an anthology of the best short stories written by first time published writers. This year, a dozen writers were selected from a wide-ranging array of literary journals – both in print and online. They were judged and selected by Tracy O’Neill, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Deb Olin Unferth.

I asked seven of the collected writers get-to-know-you questions to better introduce them to readers.

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Kate Reed Petty is out to find the truth in True Story

Kate Reed Petty is out to find the truth in True Story

Rumors, assault, trauma, and misogyny are swirling around the pages fo True Story by Kate Reed Petty. In 2015, Alice is a reclusive writer haunted by her own story. Over 15 years prior, in the confines of an elite high school, a rumor is started and no one is quite sure what to make of it.

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In Tomboyland, Melissa Faliveno traverses everything from working-class communities to queerness

In Tomboyland, Melissa Faliveno traverses everything from working-class communities to queerness

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Melissa Faliveno is a writer, editor, and teacher. She’s been a musician, roller derby skater, and alt-weekly reporter. She’s a writer’s writer. Whether it was covering the local alternative scene in her native Wisconsin or cohosting Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast, Faliveno has touched nearly every aspect of the literary world.

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