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Indian American author shortlisted for National Book Awards

Indian American author Sarah Thankam Mathews has been selected as one of 25 finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards. Mathews’ debut novel “All This Could be Different” is shortlisted under the fiction category.

As described on the National Book Awards website, “‘All This Could Be Different’ is a wise, tender, and riveting group portrait of young people forging love and community amidst struggle, and a moving story of one immigrant’s journey to make her home in the world.”

The story follows Sneha, a young queer immigrant from India who gets an entry-level corporate job in Milwaukee. As Sneha is building her own community, she struggles to be open and connect closely with others.

This year, the National Book Awards had nearly 1,800 submitted books, according to Indica News. In her category, Mathews’ novel was selected from 463 fiction submissions.

“I simply will never be over this,” Mathews wrote to Twitter.

According to American Kahani, Mathews grew up in Oman and India before immigrating to the United States at 17 years old. Mathews’ work has been published in AGNI, SSENSE, and Best American Short Stories. She was also a 2020 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe fellowship at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

The winners will be announced on Nov. 16 by the National Book Foundation.

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