Kukuwa Ashun

Flatiron Books

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m currently an assistant editor on the Flatiron Books editorial staff looking to build a list of literary, historical, and/or contemporary fiction that primarily centers a cast of nuanced, dynamic Black/Afro-identifying (or BIPOC) characters. Here, I think of work that has a combination of humor and heart (like Issa Rae’s Insecure or Quinta Brunson’s Abbot Elementary) and engages readers through stylistic elements (voice, diction, POV, structure, etc.) to create a compelling narrative arc. 

I absolutely love fiction that’s both atmospheric and perceptive in its scope, something that’s willing to sit at the intersection of multiple themes in a way that feels both complex and accessible. Stories that create or contribute to larger conversations about society are a plus, especially ones that incorporate the ramifications of systemic inequalities (like the school-to-prison pipeline) within a community–both in the US or on a global scale.

It’s fun for me to discover and explore lesser-known historical gems that blossom into fiction, something in the realm of Kaitlyn Greenidge’s novels. I love the complexities of multigenerational or familial relationships, especially when sharp humor, wit, and lyrical prose are brought to the forefront of these narratives. 

I am 100% looking for debut short story collections (or collections with a novella) that are thematic of region/place and skillfully immerses a reader into an underrepresented community in literature. Some of my favorites include Bryan Washington’s Lot and Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Sabrina and Corina.