newsletter issue #14 - books and writers
I wrote this newsletter sporadically over the last week of September, my hands really hurting from signing tip-in sheets and carrying boxes over thirty-three lbs. Almost made me wish Dolores Abernathy had thought more about humanity and given us a chance at transcendence too.
MONSTERS BORN AND MADE has now been out in the world for three whole weeks. It has been a surreal, weird time. But it is still the most incredible time.
I want to first share some links with y’all:
Teen Librarian Toolbox gave me the space to really go for it in defense of the volatile, unlikable character, and I’m really proud of this article because of how vulnerable I was here. It goes into the core of Monsters Born and Made and me together.
Speaking of vulnerability, I chatted with podcaster and author Mur Lafferty for her podcast I Should Be Writing. It was an open, honest discussion on writing, mental health, and lots more.
This review in Paste Magazine, Class and Cruelty in Tanvi Berwah’s Monsters Born and Made, kind of made my day. All the stress and anxiety pays off when someone gets what you’re trying to do.
Chris Kluwe (yeah, that Chris Kluwe) reviewed Monsters Born and Made for Lightspeed Magazine, which also made my day because it’s literally my favorite short fiction magazine.
I wrote an article on the necessity of eco-fantasy, a theme which built the foundation of MBAM, for Culture Fly
MBAM also made Goodreads’ 39 Most Anticipated YA Books For The Rest of The Year list (does anyone have any idea on why GR insists on naming their lists… like this?), which made me go feral for 39 hours straight.
High school me would have absolutely lost her shit if she knew she was gonna be on Buzzfeed as an author.
You can find more stuff at the press page on my website, which I keep updated with all important links.
I know not everyone vibes with what you’ve attempted to do in your writing, but at this point, I’m entirely focused on readers who did vibe with Monsters Born and Made. This book, one giant heap of vulnerability that it is, finding its people has been the greatest gift and joy of this whole process.
And the fact that I keep seeing it in piles with books by Stephanie Garber, Chloe Gong, Adalyn Grace and Leigh Bardugo–bro what???
ANYWAY, Books of Wonder is offering signed bookplates when you buy Monsters Born and Made from them so if that’s your jam, you know what to do :)
I will also be signing books in New Delhi in the next two weeks. Still finalizing dates and stuff, but I will update on my IG as soon as everything’s set.
ONTO BOOK 2
We have a title for Book 2 people!! Can’t announce it yet, but I’m very excited to dive into revisions.
In my head, I refer to these books together as the Islands of Ophir. It just makes sense to me. And might start making sense to you too, after Book 2. I know a lot of people wanted to see more worldbuilding in Book 1 in regards to the history of the islands and the world but like……………… patience, grasshopper. There’s a Book 2 for that.
I’m also tinkering with a project from the POV of a major character in Book 1, which might make some of you very happy based on the crying DMs I get. Very excited about this one, hehe.
I swear I wasn’t gonna make this section a thing from last time, but of course most of my thoughts right now are consumed with who i am now in respect to my first book and of course I have never learned to shut tf up. Which is I’m baffled by how hard It is to put into words what it means when a dream long held in your imagination is becoming tangible in front of your eyes.
Contradictory feelings in a writer is no new, groundbreaking thought. At the same time, we–that is, brown and Black and indigenous people, the queer people, the disabled people–deal with this type of existence so much that perhaps not being confused is the moment that will surprise us. We can’t admit bad feelings, confused feelings, especially around our art because we are supposed to be smart and confident and be able to rattle off quick and witty answers to the podcasts and the phone and email interviews. Our art is meant to be the height of achievement, impervious to criticism, a tool of education, it follows every precise grammar rule and is just all around perfection, thank you very much.
Perhaps these weird feelings are the point. We could do with some cognitive disruption.
Or perhaps it has nothing to do with my sense of contradictions at all, and is just the effect of the end of summer with its Sunday evening anxiety vibe.
Who Was Ursula K. Le Guin?: If you’ve never read Ursula K. Le Guin, this is the perfect shorthand guide to her and her works. Her work has been formative for me and I think everyone should give her words at least one chance.
'Don't Look Back': A Sudanese Refugee's True Story of Survival—and Arrival: Publisher’s Weekly ran a feature on Achut Deng, the Sudanese author of Don’t Look Back, a YA refugee memoir, on her story of survival through civil war, family separation, and seeking refuge away from her war-torn homeland.
Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality.
Ursula K. Le Guin in her acceptance speech for the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014
My amazing friend, Gigi Griffis, has written the novel tie-in edition to Netflix’s The Empress. Both the show and the novel are out now!
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia: Naseem sent me this book a few weeks ago and I’m actually have been going around rec’cing this book to everyone. Qilwa is set in a queernormative Persian-inspired world, and deals with blood magic, immigration and family, gender and healing, and so much more. This book is such a testament to the work being done by small presses and I really, really hope you’ll check it out!
Kenobi on Disney+: Not a book but! I’m such a sucker for middle-aged hot dudes down on life getting their redemption arc by becoming a dad to an absolute firecracker of a little kid. Obi-wan has always been one of my favorite characters anyway, so watching him go through this story with grief weighing him down, and then finally him shrugging it off–I love this new direction Star Wars stories have been going in.
Finally, I wanted to note that the Monsters Born and Made preorder art prints should be coming from my publisher very soon! And I’ve contacted half of the winners of the coral adoption campaign and the rest of them will be contacted this weekend (give or take a couple of days I’m just one person, rip).
That’s it for now, I think! Hopefully next time I will have some stuff to share about Book 2 :D
Love and light. Take care <3
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble® — www.barnesandnoble.com LIMITED PRINT RUN: EXCLUSIVE FIRST EDITION. The first printing includes an exclusive designed case! Available only while stock lasts. *A Book
Amazon.com: Monsters Born and Made: 9781728247625: Berwah, Tanvi: Books — www.amazon.com Amazon.com: Monsters Born and Made: 9781728247625: Berwah, Tanvi: Books