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Sugar, Smoke, Song by Reema Rajbanshi

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Sugar, Smoke, Song by Reema Rajbanshi

Sugar, Smoke, Song
A novel by Reema Rajbanshi

Sugar, Smoke, Song is a short fiction debut about girls and women caught between their desires, others’ expectations, and unexpected disaster, and how they maneuver with humor and rage into wilder, surviving selves. 

Sugar, Smoke, Song is a collection of nine linked stories set in the Bronx, California, India, and Brazil. Following the secrets and passions of young women, these stories and their narrators cross genres and rules to arrive at unforeseen lives. A subway rider remembers enacting the gods with her estranged twin, a concert usher discovers her tango-dancing boyfriend’s lover, and a literacy worker confesses the gambles she and others have lost through the bluesy singers she admires. Told through semi-experimental play with nonlinear plots, plural narrators, and hybrid prose, these stories embody the experiences of Asian American women carrying histories both unseen and cyclically lived.


“‘Sugar, Smoke, Song’: The fire and guts of this material made a helix with the poetics and heart of the story. I was left breathless several times. This writer is on the cusp of inventing a signature language meant for telling this particular story.” —Lidia Yuknavitch


Reema Rajbanshi is a creative and critical writer whose short fiction explores the contours of girlhood, violence, immigration, and landscape through semiexperimental forms. Her writing has been published in the Chicago Quarterly Review, Confrontation, and Southwest Review, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her collection won the 2015 Maurice Prize Fiction contest, was runner-up for the 2017 2040 Books contest, and won the 2018 Women’s Prose Prize for Red Hen Press. She completed her BA at Harvard University, her MA at UC Davis, and her PhD at UC San Diego, and currently teaches at Haverford College.

PUB DATE: August 25, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-59709-891-5
SIZE: 5.5in x 8.5in
FORMAT: Tradepaper
EXTENT: 232pgs

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