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Rumaan Alam



RUMAAN ALAMs writing has been published in New York Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The Rumpus, Washington Square Review, Gettysburg Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. He started his career in fashion publishing at Lucky magazine, has written extensively on interior design for Domino, Lonny, Elle Decor, architecturaldigest.com, and elsewhere, and has worked in advertising as a copywriter and creative director. He studied at Oberlin College, and lives in New York.

Genres: Literary Fiction
 
Rumaan Alam recommends
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Woman No. 17 (2017)
Edan Lepucki
"Taut as a thriller (with plenty of sex and secrets), Woman No. 17 raises big questions about identity, art, ethics, parenthood, and more. In Edan Lepucki's hands, the philosophical is transformed into a page turner; I don't know how she does it."
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Our Little Racket (2017)
Angelica Baker
"Our Little Racket is a gratifying peek over the hedgerows of Greenwich, laden with delicious anthropological detail. But like a modern day Henry James, Angelica Baker uses the lives of the one percent to explore themes-of love and loyalty, family and friendship-that matter to all of us."
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The People We Hate at the Wedding (2017)
Grant Ginder
"Don't be fooled by the superbly sardonic title--Grant Ginder's subject is not hate at all: it's love. Ginder expertly and hilariously shows us that real love (whether romantic or fraternal, parental or filial) is always a most complicated matter."
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The Storm (2018)
Arif Anwar
"This book is a marvel, combining the sweep of a saga with the precision of a page-turner. Arif Anwar moves us deftly through time and across borders, beautifully illustrating the strange intersections we call fate, and reminding us how the past shapes the present."
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Tangerine (2018)
Christine Mangan
"In her utterly transfixing debut, Christine Mangan deftly transports readers to Northern Africa at midcentury—the most glamorous possible milieu, and the ideal setting for a story of heated passion, in which friendship becomes obsession and, finally, a kind of madness."
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The Little Clan (2018)
Iris Martin Cohen
"Witty, warm, and (sometimes uncomfortably) honest, The Little Clan is a tender look at life in your twenties, when you've got big ambitions and not much else. Iris Martin Cohen conjures a magical, mythical New York populated by bibliophiles and billionaires, where anything seems possible."
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The Shortest Way Home (2018)
Miriam Parker
"The Shortest Way Home is about love, life, and the sometimes unpredictable ways we find our place in the world. But it's also about wine, and maybe best described as one might a great wine: the perfect balance of spice and sweetness, satisfyingly complex yet utterly refreshing."
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The Paper Wasp (2019)
Lauren Acampora
"It seems at first a novel of friendship between women--a rich vein for any writer--but in The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora upends convention, creating an unsettling (and impossible to put down) story about art and ambition, fame and power. A beautiful and surprising book."
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American Dirt (2020)
Jeanine Cummins
"At once intimate and epic, AMERICAN DIRT is an exhilarating and beautiful book about parental love and human hope."
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Kept Animals (2020)
Kate Milliken
"It’s fitting that a book so deeply connected to the landscape (both physical and psychic) of Southern California would take a cinematic approach to storytelling. Kept Animals is at once a novel with a wide lens—taking in so many lives and stories, so much beauty and heartbreak—and an intimate portrait of three very different girls making their way in the world."
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Want (2020)
Lynn Steger Strong
"It’s not just the story of what it is to be a mother and wife, a daughter and friend, a citizen and employee?Want is a novel about what it is to be alive right now, one that truly captures the urgency of human thought and feeling."
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The Arsonists' City (2021)
Hala Alyan
"I don’t exactly understand how Hala Alyan does it—conjures love, sorrow, betrayal, and joy; goes from being funny and warm to incisive and thoughtful—but as a reader, I’m glad that she does. The Arsonists’ City delivers all the pleasures of a good old-fashioned saga but in Alyan’s hands, one family’s tale becomes the story of a nation—Lebanon and Syria, yes, but also the United States. It’s the kind of book we are lucky to have."
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The Fourth Child (2021)
Jessica Winter
"This book is remarkable enough as an engaging family saga—mapping lives across decades, teasing out the complexities of being a mother, a daughter, a spouse, a sibling, a person. What I can’t quite get over is how deftly Jessica Winter is able to tackle some of our most contentious issues: faith, reproductive rights, power, and sex. The Fourth Child is a balm—a reminder that it is possible for art to provide a nuanced exploration of life itself."
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Good Company (2021)
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
"With candor and humor, Good Company tackles big issues—the reckoning between artistic ambition and family life, the strange tension between honesty and loyalty, the way time’s inevitable passage affects friendships and romance and our sense of self. Once again, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney has written a book you’ll stay up all night reading."
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God Spare the Girls (2021)
Kelsey McKinney
"Kelsey McKinney’s debut is a timely exploration of the moral contradictions of contemporary Evangelical Christianity. But the accomplishment of this canny novel is in positing coming of age itself as a loss of faith—not only in the church, but in our parents, our family, and the world as we thought we understood it."
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Seven Days in June (2021)
Tia Williams
"A seductive fantasy: rich friendships, star-crossed lovers, artistic fulfillment."
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The Startup Wife (2021)
Tahmima Anam
"Tahmima Anam deftly uses humor to explore both start-up culture and the institution of marriage in an utterly charming and genuinely thoughtful way."

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