Tahmima Anam (A Golden Age, The Good Muslim) and Katie Kitamura (A Separation) came together to discuss the July 2021 launches of their newest books, both of which tell the stories of women who live in positions adjacent to power, whether in fame or politics. Anam’s novel The Startup Wife tells the story of a brilliant coder whose marriage draws her into the tech world and thrusts her husband into the pressures of social media fame. Kitamura’s novel Intimacies follows an interpreter as she’s pulled into political controversy in the Hague while interpreting for a president accused of international war crimes. Maris Kreizman moderated.
The Startup Wife
By Tahmima Anam
Published by Scribner
Meet Asha Ray.
Brilliant coder and possessor of a Pi tattoo, Asha is poised to revolutionize artificial intelligence when she is reunited with her high school crush, Cyrus Jones.
Cyrus inspires Asha to write a new algorithm. Before she knows it, she’s abandoned her PhD program, they’ve exchanged vows, and gone to work at an exclusive tech incubator called Utopia.
The platform creates a sensation, with millions of users seeking personalized rituals every day. Will Cyrus and Asha’s marriage survive the pressures of sudden fame, or will she become overshadowed by the man everyone is calling the new messiah?
In this gripping, blistering novel, award-winning author Tahmima Anam takes on faith and the future with a gimlet eye and a deft touch. Come for the radical vision of human connection, stay for the wickedly funny feminist look at startup culture and modern partnership. Can technology—with all its limits and possibilities—disrupt love?
By Katie Kitamura
Published by Riverhead
An interpreter has come to The Hague to escape New York and work at the International Court. A woman of many languages and identities, she is looking for a place to finally call home.
She’s drawn into simmering personal dramas: her lover, Adriaan, is separated from his wife but still entangled in his marriage. Her friend Jana witnesses a seemingly random act of violence, a crime the interpreter becomes increasingly obsessed with as she befriends the victim’s sister. And she’s pulled into an explosive political controversy when she’s asked to interpret for a former president accused of war crimes.
A woman of quiet passion, she confronts power, love, and violence, both in her personal intimacies and in her work at the Court. She is soon pushed to the precipice, where betrayal and heartbreak threaten to overwhelm her, forcing her to decide what she wants from her life..