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Centering women—and more than just peoples' suffering—in stories

The New Story Is with Dave Ursillo

Jul 25 2023 • 47 mins

What do we lose as a society when we only experience a person, a group of people, or an entire culture through their pain or losses—not their joys, successes, or humor?

Alli Frank and Asha Youmans are multi-published authors, novelists, and former educators who use humor, joy, and compassion to write stories that encourage candid conversations about issues such as race, religion, culture, class, privilege, parenting, and education. Alli and Asha found "literary soulmates" in each other after working together as a teacher and a school administrator in Seattle, Washington. That’s when they discovered their shared mission as educators and as authors.

Alli, who is white and Jewish, and Asha, who is Black and Baptist, bring their very different cultural backgrounds and perspectives together to write in one seamless, cohesive voice, united in their belief that humor and fiction can inspire empathy and learning, and that exposure to diverse experiences can only enrich one’s life.

Their latest novel, The Better Half, was named an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of Summer, and an AARP Hot Summer Read in 2023. It is published by comedian, actor, and producer Mindy Kaling's publishing imprint under Amazon, Mindy’s Book Studio.

  • How Mindy Kaling fell in love with Alli's and Asha's women-centered stories
  • The importance of telling peoples' stories through more than their suffering and struggles
  • How joy, wit, and humor can open people up to being more receptive to unfamiliar cultural experiences or identities

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