You may recognize the name Forsyth Harmon. If you do, you’re lucky enough to have read tremendous books that she has illustrated like the essay collection, Girlhood, by Melissa Febos.
Now Forsyth has her own illustrated novel out called Justine and it is exquisite. Set in 1999, the story follows Ali as she meets Justine in a life changing series of events. Justine takes Ali under her wings at a local store where the two start as coworkers and blossom into something more. Harmon’s work is intimate. It’s cozy in the way that you want a book to be but allows you to be uncomfortable with the realities of these young lives.
I wanted to know more about what makes Forsyth Harmon tick and asker her to fill out Debutiful’s A Life of Books questionnaire. Read her answers below.
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Layla AlAmmar grew up in Kuwait where she found solace in books. Her childhood passion turned into a career. AlAmmar has an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and is working on a PhD on the intersection of Arab women’s fiction and literary trauma theory.
Her book, Silence is a Sense, is her American debut, but she previously published The Pact We Made, which is available in many countries outside of America. She’s also has work published in Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, the St Andrews University Prose Journal, and in the collection Underground: Tales for London.
Continue reading “Layla AlAmmar’s American debut can help break patterns”
In her debut novel, Cherie Jones tells a cautionary tale set mostly in Barbados. A grandmother uses a story about one-armed sister. Her granddaughter Lala listens to what happens to girls who disobey their mothers but the question is, does she absorb the story?
Years later, Lala is married to a petty burglar and their seemingly cozy lives are upended in a spiral of violence, crime, and deceit. What unfolds is, How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, a devastating debut that is a must-read. Be warned though: you’ll want to finish this in one sitting. So block out a lot of time one you start this.
Continue reading “A Life of Books with Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House”
Below, Cherie Jones answers the A Life of Books Questionnaire for Debutiful.
In his multi-award winning (Winner of the Edgar Award and Louisiana Literary Award, shortlisted for the 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing) debut book Tinderbox, writer Robert W. Fieseler explores the 1973 fire that devastated New Orleans’ queer community. The book chronicles what happened the night when 32 people lost their lives in one of the largest mass murders against gay and lesbian people in our country’s history.
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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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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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Diane Zinna‘s The All-Night Sun is a luminous story about love, grief, desire, and truth. Set at a small college in Washington, D.C. and during midsummer in Sweden, the novel follows a professor entangled with an enigmatic student and her brooding brother. As the teacher lets her inhibitions go, she must also grapple with tragedy that has engulfed her in the past.
Continue reading “Diane Zinna on the ins and outs of publishing The All-Night Sun”