Today we’re thrilled to reveal the cover for young adult anthology Magic Has No Borders, edited by Samira Ahmed and Sona Charaipotra! The cover was illustrated by Jyotirmayee Patra and designed by Joel Tippie. The book was edited by Megan Ilnitzki and will be released on May 23, 2023 by HarperTeen. Preorder it here. Keep scrolling for an exclusive Q&A with Samira and Sona!
A pair of star-crossed lovers search for a way back to one another against all odds . . .
A girl fights for her life against a malignant, generations-old evil . . .
A peri seeks to reclaim her lost powers . . .
A warrior rebels against her foretold destiny . . .
From chudails and peris to jinn and goddesses, this lush collection of South Asian folklore, legends, and epics reimagines stories of old for a modern audience. This fantasy and science fiction teen anthology edited by Samira Ahmed and Sona Charaipotra contains a wide range of stories from fourteen bestselling, award-winning, and emerging writers from the South Asian diaspora that will surprise, delight, and move you. So read on, for after all, magic has no borders.
With stories by:
- Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Ember in the Ashes series, and winner of the National Book Award and Printz Award for All My Rage
- Sayantani DasGupta, New York Times bestselling author of the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series
- Preeti Chhibber, author of Spider-Man’s Social Dilemma
- Sona Charaipotra, author of Symptoms of a Heartbreak and How Maya Got Fierce, and coauthor of The Rumor Game and Tiny Pretty Things, now a Netflix original series.
- Tanaz Bhathena, award-winning author of Hunted by the Sky and Of Light and Shadow
- Sangu Mandanna, bestselling author of The Very Secret Societyof Irregular Witches and the Celestial Trilogy
- Olivia Chadha, author of Rise of the Red Hand
- Nafiza Azad, author of William C. Morris Award nominee, The Candle and the Flame
- Tracey Baptiste, New York Times bestselling author of The Jumbies series and Minecraft: The Crash
- Naz Kutub, author of The Loophole
- Nikita Gill, bestselling author of Wild Embers and Fierce Fairytales
- Swati Teerdhala, author of the Tiger at Midnight trilogy
- Shreya Ila Anasuya, New Voices selection
- Tahir Abrar, New Voices selection
What was the most rewarding part of editing this anthology?
Sona: I loved seeing the stories—from some of my favorite authors!—come together like magic, from a small kernel of an idea to lush, vivid worlds created from scratch. And along the way, we got to add some fun surprises, which I can’t wait for readers to see
Samira: Working with all the amazing contributors was an absolute joy–their beautiful stories showcase just some of the infinite variety of South Asian diaspora voices and it was truly an honor to bring them together. It was also incredibly rewarding to run the open call for new voices–two authors who had not yet published a novel-length work. We had 100 incredibly strong entries and it made me so hopeful for the future of desi voices in YA.
Tell us a bit about the process of putting together this book. How did it all come together?
Sona: Growing up, I rarely saw myself on the pages of books, and for a long time, I worried my kids wouldn’t either. I could count the representations of South Asians in the media on one hand—and many of them were stereotypes and the butt of the joke. And I hardly ever saw myself on the page. Samira and I started talking about this anthology as a concept probably more than five years ago, but things were always just too busy. But then it was just time, and we pulled together a team of stellar South Asian voices from the YA world, got our amazing editor Megan on board, and started the process, confirming the contributors, digging in and editing the stories, finding two amazing new voices, and now it’s nearly in our hands. This is a collection I would have loved to have as a teen, and I hope today’s readers will embrace it, too.
Samira: Sona and I began talking about the idea of this anthology years ago—at a Kweli Color of Children’s LIterature Conference. Each year, we’d seen the number of desi kidlit authors grow and it was so heartening. At the same time, it was clear that publishing needed a much more expansive and inclusive understanding of “desi” or “South Asian.” We are not a monolith. And while no single anthology can truly contain the incredible diversity that is South Asia/the South Asian diaspora.
What are you most excited to share with readers?
Sona: We have some fun surprises in store for readers when they first crack open that book! I’m so excited for them to travel all the worlds that live inside. The stories are fun, delicious, stunning, and truly magical. I can’t wait to hear what readers think!
Samira: I hope readers will fall in love with these wondrous stories and be able to find a piece of themselves, their own magic in these pages. Truly, editing this anthology gave me so many feelings! I just can’t wait for teen readers to get this gorgeous anthology in their hands and be transported by these incredible tales!
Samira Ahmed is the New York Times bestselling author of Love Hate & Other Filters, Internment, Hollow Fires, the Amira & Hamza duology, and the Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit comic series. She was born in Bombay, India and grew up in Batavia, IL in a house that smelled like fried onions, garlic, and potpourri. Find her online at www.samiraahmed.com or on Twitter & Instagram @sam_aye_ahm
Sona Charaipotra is the author of Symptoms of a Heartbreak and How Maya Got Fierce, and coauthor of The Rumor Game and Tiny Pretty Things, now a Netflix series. A journalist, Sona has held editorial roles at People, ABC News, Barnes & Noble, and Parents.com. She lives in NYC with her writer husband and two kids. Find her online talking about books, Bollywood, food and chai.