Letters to a Writer of Color: An Anthology, Edited by Deepa Anappara and Taymour Soomro


A vital collection of essays on the power of literature and the craft of writing from an international array of writers of color, sharing the experiences, cultural traditions, and convictions that have shaped them and their work, featuring:

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  • Taymour Soomro on resisting rigid stories about who you are
  • Madeleine Thien on how writing builds the room in which it can exist
  • Amitava Kumar on why authenticity isn’t a license we carry in our wallets
  • Tahmima Anam on giving herself permission to be funny
  • Ingrid Rojas Contreras on the bodily challenge of writing about trauma
  • Zeyn Joukhadar on queering English and the power of refusing to translate ourselves
  • Myriam Gurba on the empowering circle of Latina writers she works within
  • Kiese Laymon on hearing that no one wants to read the story that you want to write
  • Mohammed Hanif on the censorship he experienced at the hands of political authorities
  • Deepa Anappara on writing even through conditions that impede the creation of art

Plus essays from Tiphanie Yanique, Xiaolu Guo, Jamil Jan Kochai, Vida Cruz-Borja, Femi Kayode, Nadifa Mohamed in conversation with Leila Aboulela, and Sharlene Teo.

Filled with empathy and wisdom, instruction and inspiration, this book encourages us to reevaluate the codes and conventions that have shaped our assumptions about how fiction should be written, and also challenges us to apply its lessons to both what we read and how we read. The start of a more inclusive conversation about storytelling, it will be a touchstone for aspiring and working writers and for curious readers everywhere.

Letters to a Writer of Color: An Anthology, Edited by Deepa Anappara and Taymour Soomro