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88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang

We release weekly interviews with awesome storytellers ranging from novelists to screenwriters to TV producers. Topics cover how-to's, writing advice, craft tips for writers, career nuggets, and the highs and lows of being a storyteller. We are a safe space for listeners to absorb information and learn in a way that'll shake up their creative routine. Our community welcomes each storyteller and writer and aims to make them feel less alone.
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88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang
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Feb 22, 2018

Atia Abawi is an author, foreign correspondent, and award-winning journalist. Born a refugee to Afghan parents in West Germany and raised in the United States, Atia has reported on war, conflicts and international crises in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Egypt, Kenya and Israel. Her first book for teens, The Secret Sky, is a critically acclaimed love story set during the current war in Afghanistan and won an Amelia Bloomer Award. She was also named a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start, honoring debut novelists whose first book shows success and promise.  

In today’s episode, Atia shares the story of her parents’ terrifying journey to find refuge in Germany and why it’s crucial for her to humanize the refugee crisis we see today through her latest novel, “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes”. We discuss the pain she felt day-after-day researching this novel, and why she made the specific choice of narrating the novel through the voice of Destiny.

Further into our discussion, we also learn how Atia transitioned from a journalism background of reporting facts to writing a novel where writers normally rely on creativity and imagination.

Atia is also taking over our Instagram stories from her visit to Bangkok so be sure to follow us on Instagram by clicking here!

Say 'Hi' to Atia on Twitter and check out an exclusive excerpt from "American Panda" along with an adorable cartoon that ties in with the excerpt over at her shownotes page by clicking here! For writers, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of Katherine's shownotes page to download her writing prompt for our storytellers!

Happy Listening!

Xo,

Yin

PS. Do you know anyone who would love our conversation? Please share this episode to help spread the word!

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“I’m glad that I’m nervous when I ask because I feel like that means I still care about the people that I’m talking to.” 

-Atia Abawi (Click to tweet!)

“My imagination was gone because of my journalism. What I did do was put in reality as deep and as best as I could. The sparkles on the water that shimmered like diamonds, that’s real.”

-Atia Abawi (Click to tweet!)

“It got to the point where your dreams no longer just belong to you.”

-Atia Abawi (Click to tweet!)

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN TODAY'S EPISODE: 

  • How Atia began her career in journalism and how she continued to persevere
  • Atia shares the story of her parents’ terrifying journey to find refuge in Germany
  • We discover why it was crucial for Atia to write “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes” and how she humanizes the refugee crisis we see today through her novel
  • We learn why she made the specific choice of narrating the novel through the voice of Destiny
  • Atie walks us through how she transitioned from a journalism background of reporting facts to writing a novel, a career that normally relies on creativity and imagination 
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