"When writing about independent publishing, I usually trot out the stats. The point being: Read more Indie! Millions of people already do. For this year’s Indie Issue, instead of another rundown of Bowker’s latest figures, we wanted to offer direct access to Indieland’s finest. Look for excerpts in various genres, like a scene from Margaret F. Chen’s eerie short story collection, Suburban Gothic, and in-depth conversations with several authors, including Esther Amini, who talks about Concealed, her memoir about growing up as a Jewish Iranian immigrant. And, since it’s been one of our worst, most isolating, stressful years, we checked in with Indie authors; here’s how they coped with 2020–2021."
When Julie Gray began working on The True Adventures of Gidon Lev—about a Holocaust survivor living in Israel—long before the pandemic, she already faced considerable angst. “Gidon was charming and spritely, but he was in his mid-80s, and as one of the last living Holocaust survivors, that made his memories even more precious—and precarious,” says Gray. “Covid-19 was taking the lives of thousands every day, especially the elderly. I was so worried that Gidon might not live to hold his book in his hands. So many writers were thrown by the terrible events of 2020.…I’m just so glad that Gidon made it through and is proud of the book.”