Literary Hub is pleased to reveal the cover for Sarah Thankam Mathews’ debut novel All This Could Be Different, which will be published by Viking—who acquired it in an 8-way auction—in summer 2022. The publisher describes the book as “an electrifying novel of a young immigrant building a life for herself—a warm, dazzling, and profound saga of queer love, friendship, work, and precarity in twenty-first century America.
Graduating into the long maw of an American recession, Sneha is one of the fortunate ones. She’s moved to Milwaukee for an entry-level corporate job that, grueling as it may be, is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the tab at dinner with her new friend Tig, get her college buddy Thom hired alongside her, and send money to her parents back in India. She begins dating women—soon developing a burning crush on Marina, a beguiling and beautiful dancer who always seems just out of reach.
But before long, trouble arrives. Painful secrets rear their heads; jobs go off the rails; evictions loom. Sneha struggles to be truly close and open with anybody, even as her friendships deepen, even as she throws herself headlong into a dizzying romance with Marina. It’s then that Tig begins to draw up a radical solution to their problems, hoping to save them all.
A beautiful and capacious novel rendered in singular, unforgettable prose, All This Could Be Different is a wise, tender, and riveting group portrait of young people forging love and community amidst struggle, and a moving story of one immigrant’s journey to make her home in the world.
Here’s the cover, which was designed by Elizabeth Yaffe and features the painting “Another Green World” by Nicole Eisenman:
“What initially struck me about “Another Green World” was that it conveyed a remarkably similar energy to the novel,” Yaffe told Literary Hub. “Representing the cast of diverse, queer, young people was absolutely key and I was thrilled to find a solution that did not rely on abstraction or focus in on a single figure too prominently. Rather than a specific scene from the text, the painting relays the experience of the story. Any one of the countless vignettes occurring across the piece might be Sneha and her friends finding their way in the world: falling in love, making mistakes, and learning as they go.”
“From the beginning, my great hope for All This Could Be Different was a striking, evocative cover that gestured towards the novel’s emotional core,” said author Sarah Thankam Mathews. “I’ve long admired Nicole Eisenman’s work, and it’s a total dream to have “Another Green World”—with its representations of tenderness, alienation, hunger, and connection—be the painting this cover direction was built around. Elizabeth Yaffe, the book’s designer, did an incredible job of bringing us home to the cover’s final iteration, as did my editor at Viking, Lindsey Schwoeri. I’m grateful to each one of them, and obsessed with the final product, which so beautifully fits this book.”
All This Could Be Different hits stands on August 2, 2022. You can preorder it here.