“A sweetly poignant look at the transformative power of young love.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Stunning. . . . This is a queer character-driven story that complicates the notion of romance and explores what it means to be messy and carry histories.” —LitHub
"An incredibly refreshing exploration of how the bond between two queer women of color evolves over the course of a decade. Hashimoto spins some serious queer theory into delicious rom-com realness, pushing past the bounds of Adrienne Rich-era notions of gender and womanhood." —BOMB Magazine
“A sweeping debut novel about the ever changing nature of identity and love." —Kirkus Reviews
“Important.” —Cosmopolitan UK
“A World Between is a superb, captivating read, and a remarkable accomplishment for a first novel. It's fun, provocative, and doesn't shy away from cultural complexity.” —PopMatters
"Hashimoto knows and loves these characters and her thoughtful debut offers plenty of insight into the messiness that comes with the transition from college to adulthood." —World of Wonder
“A celebration of identity, queer love, messy families, and the ferocity of want. I love this book's expansive heart, nuance, and radiant joy." —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
"Smart, honest, compassionate, and tender, A World Between is a novel of love and liberation, following two queer Asian American women through their twenties and early thirties as they navigate friendships, relationships, work, and family, and learn what it means to live as their true selves. Through Emily Hashimoto's expert storytelling, Eleanor Suzuki and Leena Shah jump off the page." —Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
"A moving, modern, intelligent, and entertaining novel about two young women of color in love. Hashimoto masterfully handles her characters' conflicts and transformations with sophisticated storytelling, enlightened by expert turn of hand. A generational breakthrough." —Sarah Schulman, author of Conflict Is Not Abuse
"How do serious, intellectual women fall foolishly in love? How can you be so educated yet so lost? Open to life’s possibilities, yet vulnerable and accidentally cruel? A World Between is a sweet and funny take on love and growing up. Imagine a classic rom-com, if the leads actors were two queer Asian women. This is such a gentle, hopeful book." —Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days
A sprawling look at the yearslong relationship between two women.
Hashimoto’s debut novel follows two Asian American women as they fall in (and out) of love again and again. When Eleanor Suzuki, “a queer biracial Asian Jewish girl,” meets Leena Shah, a beautiful and “hyperfocused” Indian girl, in an elevator on their college campus, they start an ever evolving relationship spanning more than a decade. In the shadow of graduation, the women try to figure out what their lives will look like together and apart. While Eleanor struggles to decide on her next step, Leena has her whole life mapped out. When explaining her girlfriend’s focus, Eleanor says: “In Leena this severity felt reassuring, like a compass and a map, a way forward.” Imbued with desire, jealousy, and hope, their youthful courtship ends suddenly. Six years later, Leena—while visiting Dhaval, her almost husband-to-be—runs into Eleanor on the streets of San Francisco. As the two make plans to catch up, Leena feels the uncanniness of their encounter: “Nostalgia broke loose inside her, for who she used to be: a college kid open to endless possibilities.” The chance encounter upends both of their lives when they fall back into a friendship—or perhaps something more. Hashimoto’s writing deftly explores the ways relationships, personhood, and expectations shift and change over time. After a secret nearly blows up Leena and Dhaval’s relationship, she questions what her life could be if she let go of what her life should be: “To lose him would be a blow to who she was supposed to be. And. Yet. The wild, restless, tangled unknown beckoned.” Hashimoto beautifully renders the tension between fear and the innate pull of living one’s truth. The novel explores hard questions with honesty, vulnerability, and compassion, which makes the sometimes-painful answers easier to swallow.
A sweeping debut novel about the ever changing nature of identity and love.