At the Rumpus, in conversation with Sheena Daree Miller, author Yaffa S. Santos explains why she needed to explore synesthesia in order to complete her debut novel, A Taste of Sage. “I knew I wanted to write about a Dominican woman chef working in upper Manhattan. And I wanted it to be something I could and would finish, because I had started previous projects that I hadn’t completed,” she says. “I realized that, in order for me to be invested enough to get to the end, there had to be some sort of aspect beyond the five senses. It was important for me to incorporate that, no matter what shape it took. I wondered what sort of element I could add that would keep me focused from start to finish.”
The Guardian‘s Max Liu highlights several rising star Asian American authors, including Year in Reading 2017 participant Jenny Zhang. “After years on the peripheries of US fiction and poetry, Asian American authors have stepped into the spotlight during 2017. Books by writers of east and south-east Asian heritage are one of the hottest trends this year. […] Transcultural writers, born to immigrant parents in the US or immigrants themselves as children, they are channelling their experiences into writing that, with perfect historical timing, challenges readers to resist attacks on immigrants’ rights and to see refugees as individuals with unique stories.”
This week, Granta redesigned its website, which now boasts a spiffy black-and-white aesthetic. If you’re looking for an excuse to check it out, you could do worse than reading Year in Reading alum Hari Kunzru’s “Drone,” a story which appears in their India issue. (They’re also highlighting great pieces from their archives, among them the story “Night” by Alice Munro.)
If you thought Bill Gates was content donating millions of dollars to charities around the world and hiding out in his exorbitantly expensive mansion compound, think again! The Microsoft founder and tech mogul reviews books on his personal blog, Gates Notes–and those reviews actually drive sales. Move over “Colbert Bump,” the Gates Bump is here to stay.