Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Mitali Perkins, Author of You Bring the Distant Near – On Writing a Multigenerational Story, Coming of Age and Trauma, and What’s Next

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

There‌ ‌are‌ ‌very‌ ‌few‌ ‌books‌ ‌on‌ ‌my‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Favorites‌ ‌shelf,‌ ‌but‌ ‌a‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌always‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌place‌ ‌on‌ ‌that‌ ‌shelf‌ ‌is‌ ‌‌You‌ ‌Bring‌ ‌the‌ ‌Distant‌ ‌Near‌ ‌‌by‌ ‌Mitali‌ ‌Perkins.‌ ‌This‌ ‌novel‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌YA‌ ‌multigenerational‌ ‌masterpiece‌ ‌that‌ ‌focuses‌ ‌on‌ ‌women‌ ‌in‌ ‌each‌ ‌generation‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌Bengali‌ ‌family‌ ‌who‌ ‌immigrated‌ ‌to‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌from‌ ‌London‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌1970s‌ ‌and‌ ‌follows‌ ‌their‌ ‌story‌ ‌to‌ ‌present‌ ‌day.‌ ‌I‌ ‌remember‌ ‌listening‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌audiobook‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌car‌ ‌and‌ ‌wanting‌ ‌to‌ ‌befriend‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Das‌ ‌women,‌ ‌from‌ ‌independent‌ ‌feminist‌ ‌Sonia,‌ ‌to‌ ‌fiercely‌ ‌protective‌ ‌Ranee.‌ ‌ 

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Book Review: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar – A Soft Yet Powerful YA Contemporary Featuring an F/F Romance that Battles Discrimination and Celebrates the Art of Henna

The Henna Wars, by Adiba Jaigirdar. Reviewed by Joce, (at) The Quiet Pond.


When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

Joce’s review:

When CW told me that we were going to have Adiba Jaigirdar visiting the Pond, I was overjoyed because I am just so… moved by The Henna Wars. It is a young adult contemporary novel featuring an F/F romance, and also has its roots firmly planted in destroying homophobia, racism, bullying, and cultural appropriation. After I was done reading, I sat on the couch filled with warm, fuzzy feelings, but also feeling empowered to get this book in the hands of younger readers everywhere.

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