Thank you to all who attended my tour events online this month! For those of you who want to hear more about Conditional Citizens, I wanted to highlight a few interviews I did for the fall promotional tour: I spoke with Noel King for NPR’s Morning Edition, Georgina Godwin for Monocle 24, Carolyn Kellogg for Shondaland, JR Ramakrishnan for Electric Literature, and Joel Stein for Soul Pancake’s Show Your Shelf. I also had a conversation with the playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar for the Los Angeles TimesBook Review about fiction, nonfiction, and the present moment. Elsewhere, I talked to Audible about Conditional Citizens and the process of recording the audiobook myself. (Link coming soon.)
In other news, I wrote a piece for the New York Times Style on tchotchkes, souvenirs, and other objects of comfort I’ve accumulated over thirty years of living between countries. The essay accompanied photographs by the artist Leonard Suryajaya and later served as a prompt for the NYT Learning Network. And heading into the 2020 presidential election, I wrote a letter to non-voters for PEN America’s We Will Emerge project.
I’m also delighted to share that Conditional Citizens was included on the longlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy, suggesting it to your book club, or assigning it to your students. If you’ve read it, perhaps you will consider telling a friend about it or leaving a review online? As always, thanks for your support.
That’s all I have for now. I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.
My new book, Conditional Citizens, comes out on September 22nd. It’s about belonging and unbelonging in the United States, an experience I know I share with many of you and that can be especially intense these days. An adapted excerpt appears in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. I hope you’ll take a look and add the book to your reading list.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot less time online; it may take me a while to read or respond to emails and queries. I hope you’re all staying healthy, and that you’re managing to remain sane during this pandemic.
So much book stuff has happened since my last post! I wrote a new short story, “That Time At My Brother’s Wedding,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine‘s first all-fiction issue. Contributors include Margaret Atwood, Edwidge Danticat, Victor Lavalle, Mia Couto, Kamila Shamsie, Rachel Kushner, among others. Earlier this month, my novel The Other Americans was named a finalist for the California Book Award, which was both unexpected and delightful. (There will be no live ceremony this year, though, for obvious reasons.) And before that, my first novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Dangerous Pursuits, which was originally published by Algonquin in 2005, was reissued with a handsome new cover.
In other news, the Dutch edition of The Moor’s Account, titled La Florida, will be published by Nieuw Amsterdam in August 2020. I’m very excited about this release because that book is so special to me. Elsewhere, the French edition of The Other Americans, titled Les Autres américains, will be published by Editions Christian Bourgeois in September 2020. I’m so disappointed that I won’t be able to visit France, Belgium, and the Netherlands as planned, but my hope is that travel will be possible again next summer. In the meantime, all my events are virtual.
Before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted all our lives, I was supposed to be touring to promote the paperback edition of The Other Americans, with stops in Berkeley, Pasadena, Minneapolis, Grand Forks, Arlington, New York, and Cincinnati. None of that happened, of course. We’re now seven weeks into our quarantine. Where possible, I’ve connected with readers through Zoom, which has opened up book events to people who are in different cities at once. I’m happy to engage in this way, though it doesn’t feel quite the same as a live event.
The paperback tour was to be followed by the April launch of my nonfiction book, Conditional Citizens, and tour stops in Los Angeles, New York, Greensboro, Green Bay, Ann Arbor, Madison, St. Louis, Tulsa, Tempe, Santa Fe, Washington DC, Harrisburg, and Dallas. But given that most bookstores are shuttered, my publisher decided to postpone the hardcover release until September 2020. Some things can’t be delayed, though. The April issue of Harper’s, which includes a long excerpt from Conditional Citizens, came out as scheduled, as did the May issue of Alta Magazine, which has both an excerpt and a review. Sierra Magazine also ran a review, as did the Los Angeles Review of Books.
If these early reviews of Conditional Citizens spark your interest, perhaps you’ll consider pre-ordering a copy.
I’m a firm believer that books are never late. The reading experience is not lessened by having to wait a few months more for it. In the meantime, I hope you’re staying home if you’re able, and that you’re all safe and healthy.