Girls Burn Brighter: A Novel

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Longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

“Incandescent...A searing portrait of what feminism looks like in much of the world.” —Vogue

“A treat for Ferrante fans, exploring the bonds of friendship and how female ambition beats against the strictures of poverty and patriarchal societies.” —The Huffington Post

An electrifying debut novel about the extraordinary bond between two girls driven apart by circumstance but relentless in their search for one another.

Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them: they are poor, they are ambitious, and they are girls. After her mother’s death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to care for her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond arranged marriage. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend.

Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face ruthless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within.

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About the author

Shobha Rao moved to the United States from India at the age of seven. She is the author of the short story collection An Unrestored Woman. She is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, and her story "Kavitha and Mustafa" was chosen by T. C. Boyle for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2015. She lives in San Francisco.
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12 total

Additional Information

Flatiron Books
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Published on
Mar 6, 2018
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Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“A captivating family saga.”—The New York Times Book Review

“You won’t be able to put it down.”—The Skimm (Skimm Reads Pick)

“This literary family saga is perfect for fans of Celeste Ng and Donna Tartt.”—People Magazine (Book of the Week)

“A sprawling, enchanting family saga.”—Entertainment Weekly (The Must List)

A dazzling family love story reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You from a novelist heralded by Lorrie Moore as a “great new talent.”

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.
‟A tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters.”—Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

“There's not a false note to be found, and everywhere there are nuggets to savor. Why did it have to end?” --O Magazine

“A bold debut. . . Lee sensitively relays experiences of immigration and mental illness,  . . . a distinct literary voice.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Extraordinary. . . If you love anyone at all, this book is going to get you.” –USA Today

A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak

Two Chinese-American sisters—Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. Lucia impetuously plows ahead, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth.
Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again—but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans—but what does it take to break them?
Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, an immigrant story, and a young woman’s quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it’s also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone—and when loyalty to one’s self must prevail over all.


“Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today
“A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People
“Compelling.” —The Washington Post
“Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
The runaway New York Times bestseller!

eBook includes special materials for book clubs: a Q&A with Celeste Ng and John Green, a letter from Celeste Ng, and book club discussion questions. 

Named a Best Book of the Year by: 
People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more!
"I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting." –Jodi Picoult

“To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” - Reese Witherspoon

“I am loving Little Fires Everywhere. Maybe my favorite novel I've read this year.”—John Green

"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." – Paula Hawkins

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Perfect for book clubs! Visit for discussion guides and more.
Un descubrimiento literario. Un libro de relatos magistral. Una autora galardonada con el Premio Katherine Anne Porter de Ficción e incluida en The Best American Short Stories.

«¡Qué colección de relatos sorprendente! Provocadora, feroz, conmovedora, estupenda, generosa y esencial. Me ha parecido terminar el libro en un mundo diferente de aquel en el que lo empecé a leer.»
Kelly Link

Muchas vidas cambiaron para siempre cuando el subcontinente indio fue oficialmente separado en dos países: India y Pakistán. Una viuda de trece años que encara el futuro cuando su marido es dado por muerto; una madre primeriza retenida en el lado equivocado de la frontera; una criada ambiciosa que seduce tanto a su señor como a su señora; una joven prostituta que planifica en silencio su venganza...

Atrapadas en un mundo de fronteras movedizas exóticamente lejano pero a la vez peligrosamente parecido al nuestro, las vidas de los personajes de estos doce relatos se entrecruzan bajo la mirada profunda, irónica y perturbadora de Shobha Rao, que sigue las huellas de grandes cuentistas como Lucia Berlin o Jhumpa Lahiri.

«Una narradora fascinante. Lloré con estos relatos, tan temerosa por los personajes como si los conociera de toda la vida.»
Tania James

«Frases cortas y sencillas como puñetazos eléctricos al lector, y pasajes de poderoso lirismo. Este libro de relatos consagra a Shobha Rao como una escritora de rango poco común: una voz única y poderosa.»
Chris Baltz, The Kansas City Star

«Este emotivo debut persistirá en vuestras mentes mucho después de terminar la última página.»
Karen Joy Fowler

«Sofisticado e inteligente. Una mujer desposeída se incrusta en una fuerte tradición de "literatura de la Partición", pero con una sensibilidad diferente y contemporánea.»
Anita Felicelli, San Francisco Chronicle

«Magníficos, inquietantes y asombrosamente poderosos. Cada relato es único, sugerente y agudamente provocador.»
Marylebone Journal (UK)

«Rao hace gala de un enorme poder narrativo y resume las complejidades de toda una vida en escenas y diálogos que son verdaderas joyas. Una lectura apasionante.»
Siobhan Fallon, New York Journal of Books

«Espectacular y memorable.»

«El mejor libro de relatos del año. Doce cuentos salvajes y empáticos, brutales y líricos, tristes pero también festivos.»
Terry Hong, Bloom

«Provocador, feroz, conmovedor y esencial. Me ha parecido terminar el libro en un mundo diferente de aquel en el que lo empecé.»
Kelly Link

«Una novela descorazonadora y hermosa. Da la impresión de que Shobha Rao conociera a la perfección cada esquina de los hogares o de las prisiones de estas chicas a las que retrata. Sus descripciones son casi masticables: y donde hay dulces el lector los mastica, y donde hay sexo el lector intuye la desagradable caricia, y donde hay dolor el lector puede casi llorar.»
Luna Miguel, PlayGround

«Un libro de relatos emotivo, sofisticado e inteligente. Rao resume en escenas y diálogos que son verdaderas joyas tanto los grandes acontecimientos de la Historia como las pequeñas vidas de los que los viven.»

«Ojo a su prosa: exquisita y precisa, con un gusto por los detalles, por los pequeños gestos, por los colores vivos y los cuerpos bellos. Sus cuentos manejan muy bien la elipsis: la autora sabe cortar, como si fuera igual de importante lo que se dice que lo se calla. Ella sabe cogernos de la mano y hacer que la acompañemos en esa dura travesía. [...] Shobha Rao recuerda a mi admirada Jhumpa Lahiri.»
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