Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Zen Cho, Author of Black Water Sister – On Writing Malaysian Fantasy, and the Intersection of Queerness & Complicated Asian Families

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

Hello hello hello, and welcome back to Pride Month at the Pond! Today, we’re hosting an author who has written what has swiftly become my favorite book of 2021. As a reader from Malaysia, I can’t tell you how exceedingly rare it is for me to truly see the nuances of my life represented in the fiction that I read, which is why I’m always caught so off guard by the earnestness and authenticity of Zen Cho’s Malaysian-influenced stories. And while I have deeply enjoyed her past work, Black Water Sister, Zen’s most recent urban fantasy Penang-set uban fantasy about gods and ghostly grandmas and generational trauma, may arguably be her best work yet. As such, friends, it gives me so much joy to be welcoming the inimitable Zen Cho to the Pond today!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Gabriela Martins, Author of Like a Love Song – On Writing Romance for Teens, Queer Friend Groups, & Belonging

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Gabriela Martins, Author of Like a Love Song – On Writing Romance for Teens, Queer Friend Groups, & Belonging

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

Hello friend, and welcome back to our vibrant Pride Month series here at The Quiet Pond! We’re starting off our lineup of interviews this year with a very special guest, whose delightful debut will be the perfect queer summer read come August—especially if you’re a romantic at heart like we are. Today, we have the honor of hosting an interview with the lovely Gabriela Martins, who is here to talk about her upcoming queer Latine YA romance Like a Love Song!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Mitali Perkins, Author of You Bring the Distant Near – On Writing a Multigenerational Story, Coming of Age and Trauma, and What’s Next

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

There‌ ‌are‌ ‌very‌ ‌few‌ ‌books‌ ‌on‌ ‌my‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Favorites‌ ‌shelf,‌ ‌but‌ ‌a‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌always‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌place‌ ‌on‌ ‌that‌ ‌shelf‌ ‌is‌ ‌‌You‌ ‌Bring‌ ‌the‌ ‌Distant‌ ‌Near‌ ‌‌by‌ ‌Mitali‌ ‌Perkins.‌ ‌This‌ ‌novel‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌YA‌ ‌multigenerational‌ ‌masterpiece‌ ‌that‌ ‌focuses‌ ‌on‌ ‌women‌ ‌in‌ ‌each‌ ‌generation‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌Bengali‌ ‌family‌ ‌who‌ ‌immigrated‌ ‌to‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌from‌ ‌London‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌1970s‌ ‌and‌ ‌follows‌ ‌their‌ ‌story‌ ‌to‌ ‌present‌ ‌day.‌ ‌I‌ ‌remember‌ ‌listening‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌audiobook‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌car‌ ‌and‌ ‌wanting‌ ‌to‌ ‌befriend‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Das‌ ‌women,‌ ‌from‌ ‌independent‌ ‌feminist‌ ‌Sonia,‌ ‌to‌ ‌fiercely‌ ‌protective‌ ‌Ranee.‌ ‌ 

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Clarissa Goenawan, Author of In The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida – On Trusting the Writing Process, Grief, and Mental Health

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

The minute I heard about Clarissa Goenawan’s Rainbirds, it went on my TBR as one of my most anticipated books of 2018. The relationship between mental health, mystery, and a quiet slice of life intrigued me immediately. Rainbirds and her next release, The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, exist within the same community of people, and give a sense of closeness, but also vastness, considering the tone and subject matter. While reading both, I loved the feeling of intimacy gazing upon these characters’ lives, but also the broad philosophical questions woven into the story.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Maiya Ibrahim, Author of Spice Road – On Crafting Tea Magic, Her DVPit Journey, and Sharing Cultural Mythology in Storytelling

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Maiya Ibrahim, Author of Spice Road – On Crafting Tea Magic, Her DVPit Journey, and Sharing Cultural Mythology in Storytelling

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

At the Pond, we love rich worldbuilding with fascinating magic systems inspired by culture and mythology. So when I heard about a new young-adult trilogy titled Spice Road set in an Arabian-inspired land with a teen who must protect her people’s tea magic – yes! tea magic! – I was immediately enthralled, and I wanted to learn more.

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