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New Books Spotlight | Historical Fiction

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Ali Araghi

Ali Araghi is an Iranian writer and translator. He was born in Tehran, but moved to South Bend, Indiana to earn his MFA from the University of Notre Dame. Alongside his second novel, Araghi is now working on Persian, Translated, a database of Persian literature translated into English. In its ideal form, the database would allow interested viewers to find information about the English translations of Persian literary works. He is the founding editor of the online literary journal, PARAGRAPHITI. Currently he is a PhD student in Comparative Literature, Track for International Writers at Washington University in St. Louis.

Clare Beams

Clare Beams’s new novel, The Illness Lesson, published in February of 2020 by Doubleday, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a best book of 2020 by Esquire and Bustle, and a best book of February by Time, O Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Her story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, was published by Lookout Books in 2016; it won the Bard Fiction Prize, was longlisted for the Story Prize, and was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. Her fiction appears in One Story, n+1, Ecotone, The Common, the Kenyon Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and has received special mention in The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The Pushcart Prize XXXV. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. After teaching high school English for six years in Falmouth, Massachusetts, she moved to Pittsburgh, where she now lives with her husband and two daughters. She has taught creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and St. Vincent College.

Lauren Francis-Sharma

LAUREN FRANCIS-SHARMA is the author of Book of the Little Axe (May, 2020) and ‘Til the Well Runs Dry, which debuted in 2014 and was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize, awarded the Honor Fiction Prize by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. ‘Til the Well Runs Dry was also chosen as an O, The Oprah Magazine Summer Reading Pick and lauded by the New York Times, USA Today, Essence Magazine, and People Magazine amongst other publications.

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