"A WOMAN WALKS KABUL”
BY TARAN KHAN
“Any reader of this book is sure to discover a Kabul so unlike what the media portrays. Taran’s love of her city comes across in her enchanting evocation of a city where so many tragedies echo from across Kabul’s decades of war. On her last walk, she writes: ‘To leave Kabul was to take it with you.’ This is what happened when I finished reading this book, I took Kabul with me.” —Raja Shehadeh, author of “Palestinian Walks”
One of the first things I was told when I arrived in Kabul was never to walk…
When journalist Taran Khan arrives in Kabul, she uncovers a place that defies her expectations. Her wanderings with other Kabulis reveal a fragile city in a state of flux: stricken by near-constant war, but flickering with the promise of peace; governed by age-old codes but experimenting with new modes of living.
Her walks take her to the unvisited tombs of the dead, and to the land of the living — like the booksellers, archaeologists, film-makers and entrepreneurs who are remaking this 3,000-year-old city. And as NATO troops begin to withdraw from the country, Khan watches the cycle of transformation begin again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Taran N. Khan is a journalist and writer based in Mumbai. She grew up in Aligarh and was educated in Delhi and London. She has published widely in India and internationally, including in Guernica, Al Jazeera, The Caravan and Himal Southasian and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Jan Michalski Foundation and Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. From 2006 to 2013, Khan spent long periods living and working in Kabul. Her first book, Shadow City, won the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award and the Tata Literature Live First Book Award for Non-Fiction.
“A PLACE FOR US”
BY FATIMA FARHEEN MIRZA
A Place for Us is the debut novel of Fatima Farheen Mirza, published in New York in 2018. It is the first book published by Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth.
The novel focuses on an Indian-Muslim family living in Northern California, striving to find a balance between tradition and modernity.
A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made.
There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride.
What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?
A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children — each in their own way — tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fatima Farheen Mirza was born in 1991 and raised in California. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. She is married to the British actor Riz Ahmed.
“FIFTY WORDS FOR RAIN”
BY ASHA LEMMIE
Kyoto, Japan, 1948. “Do not question. Do not fight. Do not resist.”
Such is eight-year-old Noriko “Nori” Kamiza’s first lesson. She will not question why her mother abandoned her with only these final words. She will not fight her confinement to the attic of her grandparents’ imperial estate. And she will not resist the scalding chemical baths she receives daily to lighten her skin.
The child of a married Japanese aristocrat and her African American GI lover, Nori is an outsider from birth. Her grandparents take her in, only to conceal her, fearful of a stain on the royal pedigree that they are desperate to uphold in a changing Japan. Obedient to a fault, Nori accepts her solitary life, despite her natural intellect and curiosity. But when chance brings her older half-brother, Akira, to the estate that is his inheritance and destiny, Nori finds in him an unlikely ally with whom she forms a powerful bond — a bond their formidable grandparents cannot allow and that will irrevocably change the lives they were always meant to lead. Because now that Nori has glimpsed a world in which perhaps there is a place for her after all, she is ready to fight to be a part of it — a battle that just might cost her everything.
Spanning decades and continents, Fifty Words for Rain is a dazzling epic about the ties that bind, the ties that give you strength, and what it means to be free.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Asha Lemmie is the New York Times bestselling author of Fifty Words for Rain. After graduating from Boston College with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she relocated to New York City where she worked in book publishing. Asha writes historical fiction that focuses on bringing unique perspectives to life. In normal circumstances, she divides her time between New York, London, and Kyoto. Fifty Words for Rain is Asha’s first novel.
BY CATHERINE MENON
Mary is a difficult grandmother for Durga to love. She is sharp-tongued and ferocious, with more demons than there are lines on her palms. When Durga visits her in rural Malaysia, she only wants to endure Mary, and the dark memories home brings, for as long as it takes to escape.
But a reckoning is coming. Stuck together in the rising heat, both women must untangle the truth from the myth of their family’s past. What happened to Durga’s mother after she gave birth? Why did so many of their family members disappear during the war? And who is to blame for the childhood tragedy that haunts her to this day?
In her stunning debut novel Catherine Menon traces one family’s story from 1920 to the present, unravelling a thrilling tale of love, betrayal and redemption against the backdrop of natural disasters and fallen empires. Written in vivid technicolor, with an electric daughter-grandmother relationship at its heart, Fragile Monsters explores what happens when secrets fester through the generations. As they will learn, in a place ravaged by floods, it is only a matter of time before the bones of the past emerge.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine Menon is Australian-British, has Malaysian heritage and lives in London. She is a University lecturer in robotics and has both a PhD in pure mathematics and an MA in Creative Writing. Fragile Monsters is her debut novel.
Her short story collection, Subjunctive Moods, was published by Dahlia Publishing in 2018. Her short stories have won or been placed in a number of competitions, including the Fish, Bridport, Bare Fiction and Short Fiction Journal awards. Her work has been broadcast on radio, and she’s been a judge for several international short fiction competitions.
“DIARY OF A YOUNG NATURALIST”
BY DARA MCANULTY
Rediscover the natural world with the multi-award winning phenomenon and youngest ever major literary prize winner in UK history.
This diary chronicles the turning of my world, from spring to winter, at home, in the wild, in my head.
Evocative, raw and lyrical, this startling debut explores the natural world through the eyes of Dara McAnulty, an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist.
Shifting from intense darkness to light, recalling his sensory encounters in the wild — with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more —-McAnulty reveals worlds we have neglected to see, in a stunning world of nature writing that is a future classic.
Diary of a Young Naturalist is a powerful and scintillating portrayal of the beauty of the natural world, as it shines a light on autism and of overcoming severe anxiety. It is a story of the binding love of family and home, and how we can help each other through the most difficult of times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dara McAnulty (born 2004) is an autistic naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland. After writing his online blog ‘Naturalist Dara’ for over three years and writing articles for many UK Wildlife NGOs, he published his debut book, Diary of a Young Naturalist which won the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, and was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize — the youngest ever author to do so. Dara has featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Ulster, Springwatch, Countryfile, Homeground, BBC Bitesize, Observer, The Irish Times, the Irish Independent, Positive News and The Big Issue.
Dara is a passionate and fervent campaigner for the natural world and dedicated fundraiser, volunteer and wildlife recorder. He is the youngest ever winner of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for services to conservation and nature. He is also the recipient of 10 Downing Street’s Points of Light and the winner of The Daily Mirror Young Animal Hero award.
He lives with his family and Rosie the rescue-greyhound at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down.