The World With Its Mouth Open

Zahid Rafiq

In eleven stories, The World With Its Mouth Open follows the inner lives of people in Kashmir as they walk the uncertain terrain of their days, fractured from years of war. From a shopkeeper’s encounter with a mannequin, to an expectant mother walking on a precarious road, to a young boy wavering between dreams and reality, to two dogs wandering the city, these stories weave in larger, devastating themes of loss, grief, violence, longing, and injustice with the threads of smaller, everyday realities that confront the characters’ lives in profound ways. Although the stories circle the darker aspects of life, they are—at the same time—an attempt to run into life, into humor, into beauty, into another person who can offer refuge, if momentarily.

Zahid Rafiq’s The World With Its Mouth Open is an original and powerful debut collection announcing the arrival of a new voice that bears witness to the human condition with nuance, heart, humor, and incredible insight.

Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories from Young Female Voices

Girls Write Now

Teenage girls tell their most urgent stories, punctuated by inspiration and advice from Zadie Smith, Roxane Gay, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, and more of today’s great writers.

Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories from Young Female Voices offers a brave and timely portrait of life as a teenage girl in the United States over the past twenty years. They’re working part-time jobs to make ends meet, deciding to wear a hijab to school, sharing a first kiss, coming out to their parents, confronting violence and bullying, and immigrating to a new country while holding onto their heritage. Through it all, these young writers tackle issues of race, gender, poverty, sex, education, politics, family, and friendship. Together their narratives capture indelible snapshots of the past and lay bare hopes, insecurities, and wisdom for the future.

Interwoven is advice from great women writers―Roxane Gay, Francine Prose, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Janet Mock, Gloria Steinem, Lena Dunham, Mia Alvar, and Alice Walker―offering guidance to a young reader about where she’s been and where she might go. Inspiring and informative, Girls Write Now belongs in every school, library and home, adding much-needed and long-overdue perspectives on what it is to be young in America.

Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin discusses her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry―both her process and her philosophy―with all the wisdom, profundity, and rigor we expect from one of the great writers of the last century.

When the New York Times referred to Ursula K. Le Guin as America’s greatest writer of science fiction, they just might have undersold her legacy. It’s hard to look at her vast body of work―novels and stories across multiple genres, poems, translations, essays, speeches, and criticism―and see anything but one of our greatest writers, period.

In a series of interviews with David Naimon (Between the Covers), Le Guin discusses craft, aesthetics, and philosophy in her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction respectively. The discussions provide ample advice and guidance for writers of every level, but also give Le Guin a chance to to sound off on some of her favorite subjects: the genre wars, the patriarchy, the natural world, and what, in her opinion, makes for great writing. With excerpts from her own books and those that she looked to for inspiration, this volume is a treat for Le Guin’s longtime readers, a perfect introduction for those first approaching her writing, and a tribute to her incredible life and work.