The Making of 'The Parking Lot Attendant': Nafkote Tamirat Talks with Her Editor

Nafkote Tamirat and Caroline Zancan (Photo Credit: Melanie McLean) One the exciting debut novels the spring, Nafkote Tamirat’s The Parking Lot Attendant follows an unnamed teenage girl in who is drawn to the much older Ayale, a fellow Ethiopian and parking lot attendant. Expertly blending quotidian teenage frustrations with the real danger of the narrator’s unquestioning trust in Ayale’s and his package delivery scheme, Tamirat’s novel is a wonderful, auspicious debut. Tamirat talks with her editor at Henry Holt, Caroline Zancan, the path her novel took to publication, including separating fact and fiction and cutting the , which takes place on a shadowy island. Zancan: One of the things that completely bowled me over about this brilliant novel you’ve written is that it has so many different things I love in a book in one compact, gut punch of a story—an , haunting voice; dazzling ; terrifyingly real, three-dimensional characters; and an epic story with a huge finish. Usually a combination of any two or three of those things can draw me in, and here we just get it all. I’m curious where it all began. I know Ayale was always the central character, […]

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