Vintage has acquired an essay anthology examining the craft of writing through the lens of race and culture, edited by novelists Deepa Anappara (pictured) and Taymour Soomro.
Letters to a Writer of Colour will feature authors from around the world and will ask readers to think differently about how they read non-white, non-Western stories. World rights were bought in a joint deal by Charlotte Humphery for Vintage and Caitlin McKenna for Random House US from Matt Turner and Natasha Fairweather at RCW. The collection will be published in spring 2023.
The synopsis said: "Most creative writing handbooks examine how fiction works from within the dominant white, Western aesthetic currently accepted as the standard for good writing and storytelling. With this anthology of 13 essays by writers of colour, novelists Deepa Anappara (Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Chatto & Windus) and Taymour Soomro (Other Names for Love, Harvill Secker) will start a more inclusive conversation about storytelling traditions and craft, and encourage readers and writers to re-evaluate the codes and conventions that have over time shaped their assumptions about how fiction should be written."
Contributors are set to include Madeleine Thien writing on structure, Tahmima Anam on humour, Nadifa Mohamed on violence, Xiaolu Guo on translation and Amitava Kumar on authenticity.
Anappara and Soomro said: "As students of writing and as writers of colour, we discovered that most discussions on craft don’t take into account cultural and racial variations in storytelling traditions, and instead adopt a narrow approach towards what constitutes ‘good’ writing. This book is a part of our effort to create a more inclusive conversation about writing fiction. We hope this anthology will offer emerging writers, particularly those who don’t have access to writing courses or publishing industry networks, suggestions on the diverse ways in which we can tell our stories, centring our experiences and culture."
Humphery added: "Deepa and Taymour are remarkable writers who have spent years thinking about the ways in which creative writing is taught, assessed and valued in the West. They are the perfect authors to curate and lead a thrilling list of writers in this vital anthology. Letters to a Writer of Colour will be a classic text for aspiring and working writers and for curious readers everywhere. But it will also be essential reading for everyone in the publishing and creative writing industries. Publishers, agents, booksellers, teachers, universities and short courses: Read this book!"