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Publisher's Summary

"Biting and beautiful." (Jonny Sun, author of everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too)

Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki's song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. 

But as Rukmini's star rises and Neela's stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm. 

Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya's second novel is a stirring examination of making art in the modern era, a love letter to brown women, an authentic glimpse into the music industry, and a nuanced exploration of the promise and peril of being seen.

©2020 Vivek Shraya (P)2020 ECW Press

What the critics say

"So engaging. I can’t think of anything I’ve read that has captured Twitter culture so well. There is something special in this book that really touches on the absurdity and pressure of social media and art. I couldn’t put it down." (Sara Quin, of Tegan and Sara)

"The Subtweet is a smart, funny, incisive, heart-crushing interrogation of art, race, friendship, social media, and the music industry. These characters and their self-destructive self-doubt are compelling, real, and vivid. I wanted to live-tweet my reading because I’m just obsessed." (Andrea Warner, author of Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography)  

"A subtle mystery - it captures the adrenaline-filled strange alienation and over-visibility of social media, the sedimentations of racism, and the vicissitudes of female friendship. This is a literary novel as well as a hyper-contemporary one. I literally gasped." (Erin Wunker, author of Notes from a Feminist Killjoy)  

What listeners say about The Subtweet

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

narrator didn't give this book a voice

Couldn't finish it. I wanted to love it, and I might have, but I wasn't feeling the narrator. I felt like she only connected with the Rukmini character, and even that, she didn't give any depth to her, to any of it. She lost the complexity of the first gen Indian girl experience. The story sounded teenage voiced, and a bit silly.
Too bad. Nisha should maybe read YA instead.

The story wasn't really all that interesting.

I feel badly, I want to support the Indo Canadian voices and love that there is a book about "girls like me" but I didn't connect with any of these artists or the music making and listening experience as a brown girl artist in Canada

Maybe I need to be more into social media to get that this is the complexity of their brown girl artist experience...
I wish I had read it instead

1 person found this helpful

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Relevant, sincere and thought provoking

I loved how personal this story felt even though music production is something I know little about. The friendships between characters feel very real. It give insight on the ways hurt feelings can make us assume the worst of people we care about and how miscommunication can lead to damaging mistakes. It navigates complicated racial issues with nuance and emphasizes the need for diversity in the arts and education, giving the reader an inside perspective to the challenges faced by these brilliant, creative and passionate women.

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Really captivating and relatable

I could not stop listening to this story. I felt like I was right there in it!

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  • Tamarvelous
  • 2022-01-21

Eh. Didn’t quite do it for me.

I can appreciate what the author was trying to do here, but I didn’t love the execution. I’m big on character development and I think there were some flaws. The character arc of Neela was too sharp and lacked the complexity for me to really buy into her becoming friends with Rukmini. Not just friends, but obsessive friends. The barely noticeable mention of Rukmini being trans….again, I can appreciate the goal of having a trans character without that being the focal point of the story. But it felt more like the author checking a diversity box. She didn’t relay the trans experience at all, which I think was actually a disservice to trans folks. So yeah, fun story idea. I didn’t love it too much tho.

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  • Christina
  • 2021-07-27

A triumph of empathy and selfhood

Shraya captures complexity with brevity, and a plot that changes as quickly as life can.

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  • Eric
  • 2021-06-02

Insightful and Gripping

I loved it the whole way. Many thoughtful depictions of modern challenges. Drama and suspense had me on the edge of my seat, the character relationships were so important to me. The way characters care about each other is just really beautiful. The narration was also well done.