The Literary Arts staff is comprised of enthusiastic readers, of course, but we count many talented writers among our numbers as well. This year, three of our staffers had (or will soon have) a book released! Check out their books below.
The Royal Abduls
by Ramiza Koya
From Portland-based Forest Avenue Press: “Ramiza Shamoun Koya reveals the devastating cost of anti-Muslim sentiment in The Royal Abduls, her debut novel about an Indian-America family.
Evolutionary biologist Amina Abdul accepts a post-doc in Washington, DC, choosing her career studying hybrid zones over a faltering West Coast romance. Her brother and sister-in-law welcome her to the city, but their marriage is crumbling, and they soon rely on her to keep their son company. Omar, hungry to understand his cultural roots, fakes an Indian accent, invents a royal past, and peppers his aunt with questions about their cultural heritage. When he brings an ornamental knife to school, his expulsion triggers a downward spiral for his family, even as Amina struggles to find her own place in an America now at war with people who look like her. With The Royal Abduls, Koya ignites the canon of post-9/11 literature with a deft portrait of second-generation American identity.”
Sadly, Ramiza passed away this June, after a long battle with cancer. Literary Arts is honored to have known this gifted writer, and overjoyed that she was able to see her novel published.
That Place Where You Opened Your Hands
by Susan Leslie Moore
From University of Massachusetts Press: Celebrating the tension between what we imagine and what we know the world to be, Susan Leslie Moore’s debut collection moves between certainty and doubt, dead seriousness and determined playfulness. Exploring identity and the exterior and interior selves we create through the natural world, language, and relationships, the poems of That Place Where You Opened Your Hands bring the ordinary rhythms of life and motherhood into coexistence with wilder truths. As Moore writes, “If I can’t be singular / in purpose, let me be quietly adrift,” but these are not quiet poems.
A Small Crowd of Strangers
by Joanna Rose
From Portland-based Forest Avenue Press: How does a librarian from New Jersey end up in a convenience store on Vancouver Island in the middle of the night, playing Bible Scrabble with a Korean physicist and a drunk priest? She gets married to the wrong man for starters—she didn’t know he was ‘that kind of Catholic’—and ends up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She gets a job in a New Age bookstore, wanders toward Buddhism without realizing it, and acquires a dog. Things get complicated after that.
Pattianne Anthony is less a thinker than a dreamer, and she finds out the hard way that she doesn’t want a husband, much less a baby, and that getting out of a marriage is a lot harder than getting into it, especially when the landscape of the west becomes the voice of reason. A Small Crowd of Strangers, Joanna Rose’s second novel, is part love story, part slightly sideways spiritual journey.
“If the people in your life are unraveling before your eyes, do you walk toward them? Or do you run away?“Ramiza Koya, The Royal Abduls