2017 National Book Award Longlist, Young People's Literature

Mitali Perkins

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins Mitali Perkins
You Bring the Distant Near
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers / Macmillan Publishers)
ISBN: 9780374304904

National Book Foundation: What books or writers most influence your own work?
Mitali Perkins: I still return to the first books I loved as a newcomer to America, and re-read them seasonally: Louisa May Alcott and C.S. Lewis in the winter, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Maud Hart Lovelace in the spring, L.M. Montgomery and Edward Eager in the summer, and J.R.R. Tolkien and Elizabeth Enright in the autumn. This list is supplemented by other authors here and there, who also are all dead people. Only two living authors have been added to my annual rota: Susan Howatch with her Church of England series in the summer and J.K. Rowling, who joins Tolkien and Enright every fall with her seven wonderful books of fantasy.
Foundation: What’s your favorite bookstore or library?
Perkins: Is this a trick question? Because modifying library and bookstore with the adjective "favorite" sounds as redundant as putting "beloved" before "child." Fiercely independent bookstores and public libraries that champion freedom of expression and access are two of the top treasures in our country. If I had to answer, though, I'd say the ones closest to home--but like most people who immigrate here as children, I call many places home.

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher)

This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

About the Author

Mitali Perkins has written ten novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (named one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books) and Bamboo People (a 2011 YALSA Top Ten Fiction for Young Adults title). Her last book, Tiger Boy, won the South Asia Book Award. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India, and has also lived in Bangladesh, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, Ghana, and the United States. She currently resides in San Francisco, where she teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California.


- WEBSITE: mitaliperkins.com

- TWITTER: @MitaliPerkins

- FACEBOOK: facebook.com/AuthorMitaliPerkins

(Photo credit: MCPG)


- Amazon.com

- Barnes & Noble

- IndieBound.org

- iBooks

- WorldCat (Library catalog)