Reema Rajbanshi

Reema Rajbanshi is a creative and critical writer whose short fiction explores the contours of girlhood, violence, immigration, and landscape through semiexperimental forms. Her writing has been published in the Chicago Quarterly Review, Confrontation, and Southwest Review, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her collection won the 2015 Maurice Prize Fiction contest, was runner-up for the 2017 2040 Books contest, and won the 2018 Women’s Prose Prize for Red Hen Press. She completed her BA at Harvard University, her MA at UC Davis, and her PhD at UC San Diego, and currently teaches at Haverford College.

All Books

Sugar, Smoke, Song

Reema Rajbanshi

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

$16.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-891-5


Sugar, Smoke, Song is a collection of nine linked stories set in the Bronx, California, India, and Brazil. Following the secrets and passions of young women, these stories and their narrators cross genres and rules to arrive at unforeseen lives. A subway rider remembers enacting the gods with her estranged twin, a concert usher discovers her tango-dancing boyfriend’s lover, and a literacy worker confesses the gambles she and others have lost through the bluesy singers she admires. Told through semi-experimental play with nonlinear plots, plural narrators, and hybrid prose, these stories embody the experiences of Asian American women carrying histories both unseen and cyclically lived.


Sugar, Smoke, Song: The fire and guts of this material made a helix with the poetics and heart of the story. I was left breathless several times. This writer is on the cusp of inventing a signature language meant for telling this particular story.” —Lidia Yuknavitch



Foreword Review: Sugar, Smoke, Song

Reema Rajbanshi’s debut novel-in-stories Sugar, Smoke, Song collects its thematically linked pieces into three clusters with recurring characters. The first group, starting with “The Ruins,” centers on beautiful Indo-Burmese identical […]