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Fatimah Asghar's on their debut novel, 'When We Were Sisters'

Fatimah Asghar is the author of "When We Were Sisters."
Mercedes Zapata
Fatimah Asghar is the author of "When We Were Sisters."

Fatimah Asghar is a filmmaker, educator, and performer. They are the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color. And Asghar is a poet, publishing a debut collection titled If They Come for Us.

It’s this last descriptor which is least surprising, as the story told through their debut novel, When We Were Sisters is lyrical, experimental, and quite moving. The novel explores the interlocking ties between three Muslim American sisters who, after their parents die, are left to raise one another in a country whose systems were not designed to protect them.

Although the novel is just being released today, October 18th, it’s already been longlisted for the National Book Award and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

I recently spoke with Fatimah Asghar about their debut novel.

Here's our conversation.


When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar was published by One World.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.