International Indie

Indie editors have noted the diversity within Indieland in the past, and it’s a topic that we’ll revisit often. Here we spotlight some of Indie’s literary fiction that’s set outside of the U.S.; characters describe village happenings in Iran, intertwining lives of privilege and poverty in India, and a Singapore in transition.

The setting of Feridon Rashidi’s Tales of Iran and Tales of Iran 2 is one of meager village life, characterized by everpresent “dust, bits of hay and the stench of dung.” In “Ashura,” from the author’s first collection, a village boy has a disturbing experience on a holy day when “men lament the memory of the ancient Battle of Karbala by shedding their own blood with cleavers.” Our reviewer called Rashidi’s writing “finely wrought.”

Amita Trasi’s The Color of Our Sky, set in Mumbai, follows two characters—Mukta, the child of a prostitute, who seems doomed to work in the sex trade herself; and Tara, the daughter of an upper-class family that rescues Mukta, at least temporarily. The novel re-creates everyday life in Mumbai, said our reviewer, and is a “sad, soulful, and revelatory story.”

Singaporean novelist Suchen Christine Lim, who earned a Kirkus Star for her novel

The River’s Song, details old Singapore and its hard-won transition to modernity. Villages are razed for new developments, and people battle bureaucracies and police as they watch their culture gutted in the name of progress. Lim tells her characters’ stories with language “that’s subtle, cleareyed, and lyrical, linking a city’s rise with the emotional travails of its inhabitants,” said Kirkus’ reviewer.

Karen Schechner is the senior Indie editor.

MORE BLOG POSTS

Gearing Up for the 2015 Kirkus Prize
We'll announce the finalists on September 30
For much of this year, as we’ve been letting you know in each issue which new books are worth paying attention to, a separate set of tough critics has been doing a little reading to determine the best books published since last fall. These critics are the 2015 Kirkus Prize judges; they determine which of our starred books should become ...
Brunonia Barry
When writer Brunonia Barry wanted to write about her town of Salem, Mass., she decided to borrow a trick from an established playbook: test it on the ultimate consumers, the readers. Local book groups provided her with the feedback she was looking for to make her debut, The Lace Reader, a word-of-mouth success. While Indie publishing has really taken off ...
Hugh Howey
An indie trendsetter talks about the secrets of his success.
Bestselling science fiction author Hugh Howey, who has a devoted fan base and just might see his famous Wool series make it to the big screen, is a huge devotee of indie publishing and encourages beginners to adopt this route. “If you are a chef in a busy restaurant, and most patrons are coming for your cooking, you have a ...