Sabaa Tahir wrote the popular new Young Adult novel, An Ember in the Ashes
last year. On Word and Film
, she shared some of her inspiration and background as a writer.
“I grew up feeling voiceless and powerless as a kid. I turned to books – fantasy books, in particular – to give me comfort. As I grew up I realized I could find that sense of power and voice if I simply started writing.”
Read more about Sabaa here
and listen to her fantastic interview on Beaks and Geeks
Further Afield features are from our greater Penguin Random House family. We pick interesting articles to keep you updated on genre-specific news, interviews, and more.
Feeling anxious? Discouraged? Lovesick? Let The Book Apothecary
prescribe the perfect book for you. Inspired by Monsieur Perdu in the best selling The Little Paris Bookshop
, the apothecary will recommend books good for what ails you.
“With all due respect, what you read is more important in the long term than the man you marry, ma chère Madame.” – Monsieur Perdu, The Little Paris Bookshop
“The Little Paris Bookshop
is an enchantment. Set in a floating barge along the Seine, this love letter to books – and to the complicated, sometimes broken people who are healed by them – is the next best thing to booking a trip to France.”—Sarah Pekkanen, author of Catching Air
Get your recommendations here
Here’s how Matthew Pearl
describes his search for a good story that inhabits the environs he calls “gray-area history”:
“A few years ago I stumbled on a stray detail indicating that century publishers would hire agents to obtain valuable manuscripts that were fair game under the laws. Because of their shadowy place in history, I could not find much else about this group, but I was intrigued. Building on this fragment of legal and publishing history, I tried imagining more fully these freelance bounty hunters – the history of their profession, what they might be called on to do, who they were, their backgrounds, how their lives would bring them to this unusual profession and how the profession would shape their personal lives. As far as historical fiction goes, it fit one of my ideals: a bit of gray-area history that cannot be explored very far without the help of fiction. In this case, it seemed to me to call for informed speculation – what I’d refer to as research-based fiction – plus plenty of imagination.”
The result is […] The Last Bookaneer
. Matthew has performed this kind of historical fiction sleight of hand successfully before with Dickens and Dante; now he turns to Robert Louis Stevenson living in Samoa in the midst of writing his last book.
As always his history is dead-on, when Matthew writes about real characters, there are no gray areas. But in The Last Bookaneer,
it’s his fictional characters- the literary pirate Pen Davenport and his assistant Edgar, that bring the chain-smoking, gone-native, near deified-by-the-locals-in-Samoa Stevenson to life.
I feel sure you’ll get lost in the world Matthew Pearl conjures. What more can a reader ask?
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