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How do you write your extended family into a madcap romantic comedy and live to tell the tale?

Jesse Q. Sutanto--author of the YA thriller The Obsession; the middle-grade fantasy novel Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit; and the debut adult novel Dial A for Aunties, which is being adapted by Netflix into a film--discusses with Eve and Julie the cultural and familial components of her work. They talk about how killing off a (fictional!) blind date gave Jesse the distance she needed to write about her family, why a feast might be forthcoming in a time of emergency, and how Jesse ensured that authenticity overrode stereotyping when she wrote about her Chinese-Indonesian-American family. Jesse, a former wedding photographer, also lifts the veil on the pervasiveness of groomzillas.

Dial A for Aunties

"Sutanto brilliantly infuses comedy and culture into the unpredictable rom-com/murder mystery mashup as Meddy navigates familial duty, possible arrest and a groomzilla. I laughed out loud and you will too.”—USA Today (four-star review)

Go Deeper

Jesse Q. Sutanto

Dial A for Aunties, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Obsession, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

My Struggle, by Karl Knausgard

Menachem Kaiser

Ep. 58 - “Plundering Lovely, Messy, Family Stories” ft. Menachem Kaiser

Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, by Menachem Kaiser

Matthew Salesses

Ep. 50 - “It’s Time to Rethink the Way We Tell Stories” ft. Matthew Salesses

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping, by Matthew Salesses

Paula McLain

Ep. 57 - “When Fiction Is More Personal Than Memoir” ft. Paula McLain

When the Stars Go Dark, by Paula McLain

Eve Yohalem

Julie Sternberg

Book Dreams Podcast


Lit Hub Radio

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