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Priyanka Taslim Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Love Match (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Priyanka Taslim
Priyanka Taslim is a teacher, writer, and a lifelong New Jersey resident. Having grown up in this bustling Bangladeshi diaspora community, surrounded by her mom’s whole clan and so many aunties of no relation, her writing often features communities, families, and all of the drama therein.

Her writing typically stars spunky Bengali heroines that are finding their place in the world, and a small swoony romance, as well.

Her passion for storytelling came her parents putting her to bed often with a story, so when she started school, she was already primed to love reading with her mom.

She was a voracious reader, for the longest time. Then she became a voracious writer. However, she never really thought she could become a published author that wrote about characters which had any type of relation to her at all. Some of the very first writers of color that she saw getting published in young adult when she was a teen herself, they were writing novels about mixed protagonists. So there was some kind of Euro-centric standard that they were able to achieve. They may be Asian, but they have blond hairs sometimes. They have blue eyes, too, sometimes.

She believed she would have to write under a pen name, since that is what they did sometimes. So for the longest time, she was writing all-white casts, or primarily white cast with that funny side character that is ambiguously ethnic, because that’s what she was used to read even while books began to get increasingly diverse.

However around college, she had this professor in creative writing. She minored in Creative Writing as she got her certification in education. She had a professor that told her he’d never heard anything about Bangladesh before having Priyanka as a student and would like her to write more about it. She resented her white male professor to dictate what he believes she should be writing.

However the first time that she wrote a short story with a Bangladeshi lead character, all of a sudden, all of those blocks that she had which prevented her from finishing an original novel, it felt as though a light bulb went off over her head. This was the moment that she really thought she wanted to write about characters which resemble her more, that she can connect to more.

The first nugget of inspiration that she got for “The Love Match” was her visit to this local Pakistani tea shop. During the pandemic it shut down, however the food and aesthetics made her want to write a book that involved one.

This fun story about loss, love, and growing up, plus a bit of swooniness, became her escape. She loved getting to tell this movie-style, heartfelt romance for a working class Bangladeshi-American girl. Even though the plot has changed in a lot of ways over the course of the project, the heart and soul of it has stayed the same. She hope readers will pick it up and know that regardless of their circumstances, they deserve to be lead characters and have their epic love stories, should they want them.

She also wanted to write something that was set in her hometown which celebrated its Bangladeshi diaspora and the liminal way that she grew up in this small pocket of Bangladesh in New Jersey. Some other elements she was hoping to incorporate include matchmaking shenanigans and meddling aunties, all of it kinda just fit together once these original concepts she had were combined.

After it all came together and she knew that she wanted to pen a young adult romance novel, the next thing that she asked herself was who she wanted to be centered in it, and this is how Zahra came into being. She embodies a lot of feelings which many eldest daughters of immigrant families typically have, particularly when they are from the working class. There is this great sense of responsibility, and typically, books with characters like this can feel heavy, particularly when they are characters of color.

She wanted to show that Zahra could be the heroine of such an epic, swoony, tropey, and funny romance novel that still feels grounded in Zahra’s reality.

Since Priyanka often feels excluded from romances and the escapism which they offered, she wanted to give readers that also do not usually see themselves in lead characters, or just see working class brown girls painted in a certain light, to get the chance to read this novel, resonate with it, and feel worthy of being the focus of books just like it as well.

“The Love Match” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. A heartfelt and delightful romcom about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mom arranges this match to secure the financial security of the family, right when she is falling in love with somebody else.

Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, however being a princess does not pay your bills in Paterson, New Jersey. As Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve her working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up money for college writing classes, Amma has become convinced that all she needs is a “good match”, Jane Austen style.

Enter Harun Emon, who is devastatingly handsome, wealthy, and aloof. Right when Zahra meets the guy, she knows that it is a bad match. It is nothing at all like the connection she’s got with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, and somebody that gets Zahra in such a way unlike anybody else before. So, once Zahra learns that Harun is equally uninterested in this match as she is, they decide they should slowly sabotage their parents’ plans for them. And for once in her life, she is able to have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping her Amma happy as she catches real feelings for Nayim.

However life, and boys, can be much more complicated than Zahra had realized. With her feelings being this mixed up, she learns that sometimes being a good Bengali child can be such a royal pain.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Priyanka Taslim

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