Join us on Monday, November 1 at 6pm PT when Farah Ali is joined by Ingrid Rojas Contreras to discuss her debut collection People Want to Live at 9th Ave!
Masks Required for In-Person Attendance
Join us virtually by registering at the link below
Praise for People Want to Live
“The stories in People Want to Live are ones of aftermath—a lost child, an ambition dashed, an irrevocable mistake. Farah Ali writes with a precise and profound understanding of the most vital dimensions of the human experience, and these stories illuminate how connection can be found in even the bleakest moments. People Want to Live is the work of a thrilling and essential new voice.”—Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears
“I might say, truthfully, that these stories will stay with me, but more precisely I mean that the people in these stories will stay with me. Farah Ali masterfully creates characters desperate to change their lives, surrounded by friends, family, neighbors, business associates, and bureaucratic authorities with the power to help, hinder, or sometimes, only stand by helplessly. This is a powerful, devastating collection of characters poised at moments of possible transformation, gripped by both hope and despair.”—Caitlin Horrocks, author of Life Among the Terranauts
“People want to live but they also struggle to live, with their families, their cultures, and themselves. Conjuring an array of characters’ troubles, Farah Ali also supplies an antidote: language to capture them that is startlingly tender at times, often slyly funny, and always particular and surprising.”—Polly Rosenwaike, author of Look How Happy I’m Making You: Stories
About People Want to Live
Farah Ali's debut collection of thirteen stories, People Want to Live features stories of togetherness and reckless faith in the face of a world that's built to break us. Her characters battle with loneliness - and in their fight, reveal surprising vulnerabilities and an astonishing measure of hope.
Set primarily in Pakistan, these award-winning stories follow people living on the brink of abandonment - in their personal relationships and their place in the world; A mother, coping with the sudden death of her son, uncovers long buried secrets in his absence. An anguished girl grabs a chance for a life beyond the orphanage walls where she lives and discovers the price of freedom. A young couple tries to keep their fraught relationship steady as a heat wave engulfs their city. A son returns to visit his ageing parents while beset with memories of a troubled childhood. Two thieves find themselves in a situation more precarious by the minute, and more dangerous than their original mission.
About Farah Ali
Farah Ali is from Pakistan. Her work has been anthologized in the 2020 Pushcart Prize as well as received special mention in the 2018 Pushcart anthology. Her stories can be found in Shenandoah, The Arkansas International, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review online, Copper Nickel, and others.
About Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her first novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree was the silver medal winner in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times editor's choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. Rojas Contreras has received numerous awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She is a Visiting Writer at Saint Mary’s College. She is working on a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds.
“One of the most dazzling and devastating novels I’ve read in a long time...Readers of Fruit of the Drunken Tree will surely be transformed.”
--San Francisco Chronicle