Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. Being an immigrant who is constantly negotiating her own identity and sense of belonging in a place she now calls “home,” she is committed to championing books by writers from marginalized communities with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues in both fiction and non-fiction with veracity and heart. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @agentsaba
When it comes to Young Adult, specifically: I’m looking for strong voices and unconventional narratives that really make me sit up, pay attention, and move me emotionally. Introduce me to unforgettable characters with complex, deep relationships, and show me worlds where things aren’t necessarily as they seem. Intelligent, sharp writing with soul is my biggest weakness, and if you can offer a fresh perspective on top of that, I’ll probably be sold.
I tend to gravitate towards YA that engages honestly with any of the following questions: What does it mean to be responsible for one’s self, for one’s actions? What does it mean to make a good decision, a decision that’s good not just for your future self, but for your present self as well? Can you ascertain how moldable you are? How much of who you are comes from who you choose to be? Can you learn to accept that you’re also largely who you were meant to be and you can’t beat yourself up about it? Can you do better than what was handed down to you? Can you break free of generational cycles of forced expectations, trauma, and violence? Can you take in the reality that there are no neat answers, that there is no one right way to be in this world?