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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The 12 Best Debuts of 2020 (So Far)

The 12 Best Debuts of 2020 (So Far)

This year hasn’t gone the way any of us thought it’d go. One thing that we can always count on is a crop of debut and emerging writers to produce delectable books. 

So many stellar books came out in the first half of 2020 that I had trouble narrowing it down. The books featured on this list are the ones that I have recommended or have thought about the most. Of course, there are so many delectable books that were left off this list. Like I always say: art is subjective.

Here are the dozen debuts that I feel everyone should pick up at one point this year.

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Digital Book Tour – Hadley Moore, Not Dead Yet

Digital Book Tour – Hadley Moore, Not Dead Yet

With so many author tours being canceled, Debutiful has invited any author who had events canceled or postponed due to coronavirus to do a reading and a brief interview as part of the Digital Book Tour podcast series.

Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher

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Mary South recommends her favorite stories, collections, and journals

Mary South recommends her favorite stories, collections, and journals

Mary South’s debut story collection, You Will Never Be Forgotten, explores what she calls “late-capitalism dystopias.” The collection is filled with memorable stories from a FAQs section gone wrong (““Frequently Asked Questions About Your Craniotomy”) to a woman who stalks her rapist online and then in real life (the title story “You Will Never Be Forgotten”).

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Peter Kispert knows what makes a good story

Peter Kispert knows what makes a good story

Peter Kispert is a beloved editor who has worked with some of best writers publishing today. He is also is an accomplished writer himself, with work appearing or forthcoming in OUT, GQ, and Eqsuire. His writing, both fiction and non-fiction, explores identity, queerness, and culture.

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Mandeliene Smith, author of ‘Rutting Season,’ discusses the forces that shape our actions

Mandeliene Smith, author of ‘Rutting Season,’ discusses the forces that shape our actions

Mandeliene Smith – not Madeline, more on that in a moment – has had a long career leading up to her debut collection. It was worth the wait because the stories that inhabit Rutting Season offer an honest and varied look into the everyday lives of her characters.

She twists and turns her way through the highlights and low moments with such grace and determination. It’s easy to forget you’re reading a short story as you turn from page to page due to her precise tone and mood. What makes this short story collection stand out is how she manages to keep a thematic undertone throughout each story – not one feels out of place – but also keeps every page fresh.

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