I was drawn into the world of literature by default when my sister's growing collection of books in our tiny room began to overflow onto my bed. Bewildered by her fascination with these musty, decaying volumes, I decided to experience them for myself—and instantly fell in love. Born to Pakistani expatriates in Sri Lanka, and knowing how to express myself only in English for the first fifteen years of my life, I found comfort in reading about other culturally displaced people, unable to communicate in their native tongues, and hesitant to assert themselves in environments where there were few examples of people like them. Moving to Pakistan and absorbing what it meant to be an educated woman in a traditional Islamic society contributed greatly to my desire to learn more about similar narratives, especially from other women. In an effort to understand how it felt to be surrounded by other ambitious women with the desire to shatter patriarchal restrictions, I enrolled as an undergraduate at Wellesley College. And the rest, as they say, is history
After double majoring in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies at Wellesley, I studied modern Persian Literature at the University of Chicago, where I got involved with editing our department’s academic journal. And it finally hit me—working closely with writers to hone their craft; seeing a piece of writing from its inception through to its eventual publication; and advocating for what I believed was stellar prose worthy of recognition—this was my calling. So I interned at various newspaper and magazine publications, worked as an editorial intern at Sourcebooks, and then wound up at Talcott Notch, where I’m excited to begin my career as a literary agent.
I’m currently open to the following genres:
Adult: up-market literary and commercial fiction, romance (all subgenres except paranormal), character-driven psychological thrillers, cozy mysteries, and memoir.
Young Adult: all subgenres except paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi. I'm particularly interested in contemporary realistic YA -- anything with heart, humor, and personality. But if you've got a fast-paced, chilling mystery, I'm all ears.
Middle Grade: anything that's smart, accessible and written with flair. Whether it's quirky and funny, or just plain sweet and heartwarming -- it's no big secret that this is my favorite category. Also, I'd love anything Roald Dahl-esque.
I’m looking for strong voices and unconventional narratives that really make me sit up, pay attention, and move me. Introduce me to unforgettable characters with complex, deep relationships, and show me worlds where things aren’t necessarily as they seem. Intelligent, sharp writing with soul is my biggest weakness, and if you can offer a fresh perspective on top of that, I’ll probably be sold.
Also -- and this deserves its own paragraph -- I’m all about diversity, in all its various forms. Bonus points if your book contains multicultural perspectives, and themes of immigration, displacement, and cultural adjustment.
When I’m not reading, you’ll probably find me learning another foreign language, playing Scrabble, watching a Bollywood movie, or singing in the bathroom (the acoustics, am I right?)
You can learn more about my particular interests and current wish list by checking my website (sabasulaiman.com) and by following me on Twitter:
Unicorn Writers' Conference www.unicornwritersconference.com : 25th March 2017
RWA (New England Chapter) www.necrwa.org/blog1/conference/ : 7th - 8th April 2017
Saba's Latest Deals
Managing Editor of The Rumpus Lyz Lenz's DEATH OF THE MIDWESTERN CHURCH, based on her essay for Pacific Standard, an examination of the growing challenges facing America's churchesin the Midwest, including discussions on how faith intersects with politics, race, sexuality, and technology in the region, to Ashley Runyon at Indiana University Press, in a nice deal, by Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services.