Author Interview: Chaithanya Sohan and Shaima Adin

Hello everyone! I’ve been away a while but I hope you’ve all been having a good, productive month!

I am very excited to be back with an author interview today, featuring two authors whose book will be coming out very soon! I’ve been in contact with them for TWO (!!) years now as they’ve been moving through the ups and downs of the publishing world. You may remember their guest post from last year when they talked more about their project.

So I was very happy to hear from them a couple months ago that they now have an official release date for their book, America Deconstructed!!! I’ll let the authors describe it more in the interview below but stay tuned for some more posts from them in the lead up to the release!

america imageAmerica Deconstructed by Chaithanya Sohan and Shaima Adin
Genre: Non-fiction | Short Stories
Release Date: February 12th, 2019

Naseer was nine years old when he escaped Taliban and fled Afghanistan. His story, “There are some people who are coming to take me away”, chronicles the resilience of a nine year old boy as he traveled from Afghanistan to America in his quest for the American dream. “I saw a ripe mango I’d like to pluck” showcases the love story of Chidibere and Ifeyinwa and their struggles with language, culture and being African in America. In the story “Kosovo, really…cool”, Lisian takes us through his journey to America and often being asked his identity in spite of being white. In the story, “I am exotic, mocha, P-diddy”, Parag describes his journey from a young sixth grader who hid his attraction to boys in conservative India to embracing his sexuality in America. America Deconstructed follows the journeys of sixteen immigrants as they maneuver cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.

Pre-order it here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Sam/Spines: Let’s start off with a little game to learn more about you both: what are two truths and a lie about yourself?

Chaithanya Sohan: Truth: I am a travel addict whose dream job includes working on the travel channel.
Truth: A tomboy who was obsessed with being the next Michael Jordan
Lie: I hate books and reading

Shaima Adin: Passionate about life, and always striving to improve would be the two truths and the lie would be that I don’t like chocolate at all, and that I don’t eat a little every day.

S: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your book! Can you tell us a little about the book?

CS: Thank you! America Deconstructed is a short story montage about immigrants in America. Although the stories are about people who immigrated to America, the stories would appeal to anyone who has moved away from home be it a state, or a country. Every immigrant journey is often talked about in terms of legal and illegal. While that stands true, what happens after one immigrates to a foreign country? Our book tries to give you the behind the scenes into the assimilation of a person into a new culture. Through this book we have tried to give immigration a human face beyond the stamp on a passport.

SA: Thank you. It’s a book about first generation immigrant experience in America. We interviewed people who mostly come from different background, and have completely different life journeys and experiences; how they got to US and what their overall experience of living here has been. We have tried our best to not have any influence on how they wanted to tell their stories and how their experiences have been. It is left to the audience to decide and have opinions about these experiences on their own. We have not steered the stories to any particular direction.

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Happy October!

Hi all! I felt like doing a quick update because I realized I’d been posting incredibly frequently and then kind of dropped off the map after that last, slightly anxious post.

So, all is good! I’m glad it’s October, even though that’ll mean all my assignments start to creep up, but it feels like this will be a good month. We’re actually getting Fall weather this year (last year we had 30 degree weather through September!) and nothing is better than sweater weather. Though I am upset at the amount of rain my weather app is predicting for this week 😦

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Review: The Mosaic by Nina Berkhout

mosaic image           smaller starsmaller starsmaller star

I read Berkhout’s debut novel last year and after a missed opportunity of seeing her in person, the publisher was kind enough to send a copy of her latest my way!

The Mosaic by Nina Berkhout
Genre: YA Fiction
Source: cover image and blurb from Goodreads

Twyla Jane Lee has one goal. To finish senior year so she can get out of her military hometown of Halo, Montana. But to graduate, she needs to complete forty hours of community service, and that means helping out a rude and reclusive former Marine named Gabriel Finch.

A young veteran of the conflicts in the Middle East, Gabriel spends his days holed up in a decommissioned nuclear missile silo on his family farm. Twyla assumes he’s just another doomsday prepper, readying his underground shelter for Armageddon. But soon she finds out the truth, and it takes her breath away.

Gradually the two misfits form a bond, and Twyla begins to unearth the secrets that have left the Marine battling ghosts. Her discoveries force her to question her views on the wars until she realizes that even if she gets out of Halo, she won’t ever be able to leave Gabriel Finch’s story behind her.

A beautifully written and thought-provoking novel about a teen facing the collision of love, ideals and uncertainty about her own future.

Get it here: Amazon | House of Anansi | Indigo

Berkhout’s adult debut, The Gallery of Lost Species, was one of my favourite reads last year, partly because of how suited to my life it felt (read about it in my review!) so I was interested in where she’d go with the young adult genre.

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