Nidhi Pugalia

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m looking for lyrical novels grounded in reality which weave in a fantastical element–especially if that element is used as another perspective with which to explore the emotions, connections, and humanity of a novel’s characters. I love magical realism (think Aimee Bender), especially those that lean a little dark/darkly whimsical (Pushing Daisies), and anything that makes me feel. My absolute sweet spot is myth-retellings, like Madeline Miller or if Rick Riordan wrote for adults–particularly those that explore BIPOC cultures, like KAIKEYI and anything written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Dark academia is my absolute jam, from boarding schools to secret libraries that have persisted through the ages–and if there’s a dark generational curse or prophecy involved, I’m invested (from the whimsy of Penelope to the darkly destructive, like Juno Dawson’s series). Is your novel about a haunting, whether of a person or of a place? I want to read it.

Outside of the SFF etc, space: I’d love a complex and character-driven murderous novel (THE BANDIT QUEENS, the perfect blend of punchy, funny, and dark), a fast-paced and snarky thriller (PORTRAIT OF A THIEF, which I devoured instantly), a haunting and devastating suspense novel. I particularly am drawn to novels in these genres with multicultural casts that are not written for a white gaze–something that I felt PORTRAIT OF A THIEF and THE BANDIT QUEENS had beautifully in common. I’m also always on the look out for some psychological, gothic horror in the vein of REBECCA–if you have the next Daphne du Maurier, I’m your girl.

Outside of genre fiction, warm, ultimately uplifting stories about human connection with friendship, familial, or romantic love at its core (particularly LGBTQ+) will always pull me in. If the writing melts like butter, and your characters leap of the page, don’t consider any genre a barrier.

In terms of nonfiction, I would love philosophical self-help books (think HOW TO DO NOTHING, my own personal religious text) that are not prescriptive, as well as thoughtful and considered writers that can take any topic and make it both interesting and fun (Emily Nussbaum, Olivia Laing, among others). I love a narrative that offers a fresh perspective on an old story, as well as books written by passionate, qualified writers who will make me feel absolutely geeky about their topic, even if I’ve never heard of it before. I want to learn–but I’d love to not feel like I am.

Finally, and most importantly, any book that makes me hungry–fiction or non-fiction. I love food as the center of the story, especially as a way to enter culture, family history, a nation’s history–truly, any way you write it, I want to read it. In nonfiction, I would love to see how food culture intersects with other dimensions of life i.e. social justice, climate change/justice, war, media, and so on.

Fun facts about me:

  • When I’m not reading or writing, I’m baking exclusively sweet things.
  • I was born in India, grew up in northern California, moved to New York for grad school, and stayed for publishing, and am now in Seattle.
  • I dream of going on an international tour strictly visiting the most beautiful libraries/bookstores of the world.

Submission Guidelines

Unfortunately, PRH only accepts agented submissions at this time.

Vital Info