Rumaan Alam




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Rumaan Alam

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August 2015


My stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly, Crazyhorse, Meridian, and elsewhere. I've written on design and other subjects for the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and other places. I studied writing at Oberlin College. Now I live in New York with my husband and two kids. I am very good at building things out of Legos and making overly-complicated dinners.

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Rumaan Alam I'm obviously delighted when readers who are women feel I've correctly depicted an experience that feels true to them and their own lives. But it…moreI'm obviously delighted when readers who are women feel I've correctly depicted an experience that feels true to them and their own lives. But it bears pointing out that there are writers who write beautifully and imaginatively about life on Mars, about ancient history, about faraway lands, about animals. That's what writers do: they lie! I undoubtedly stole many of the details from observing the women in my life (There have been a lot! friends, colleagues, bosses; I've spent my life among women). But this book isn't based on anyone I know; it's all a lie. Fiction is just a fancy word for lie.(less)
Rumaan Alam I began working with only an idea - the notion of a friendship at a crossroads - and quickly realized that I needed a map, an outline. The challenge…moreI began working with only an idea - the notion of a friendship at a crossroads - and quickly realized that I needed a map, an outline. The challenge was to dramatize this scenario with some economy; I had no desire to write a book that covered 26 years (the period, in total, that my book covers) from start to finish, and I can't imagine who would want to read such a book, which would have to be 40,000 pages. Because my primary interest was the relationship between these two women, its everyday quality, I wanted to stick to mundane moments. Thus the big milestones in their lives in this period - getting married, having children - are secondary; the book barely covers them, but skips around in time so that I get to include them. I ended up with a novel that covers a fairly brief period (a few months), then leaps ahead in time not once but twice. But that's one of the great things about the novel as a form; there's no particular rule that you can't spend ten pages on half an hour of action, and cover five years in one paragraph. (less)
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More of Rumaan's books…
“She likes the frisson of improvisation. Fun cannot be scheduled. Fun simply occurs.”
Rumaan Alam, Rich and Pretty

“The ice tinkles prettily: There's no more inviting sound to her, it's sophistication, like a British accent or that call-and-response of high-heeled shoes on tile.”
Rumaan Alam, Rich and Pretty

“His manners are old-fashioned, the work of a vigilant mother.”
Rumaan Alam, Rich and Pretty

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179584 Our Shared Shelf — 207142 members — last activity 6 hours, 39 min ago
Dear Readers, As part of my work with UN Women, I have started reading as many books and essays about equality as I can get my hands on. There is so m ...more



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