The Startup Wife: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The story of the creation of an app that offers custom-made rituals for a those who have moved beyond traditional religious rituals. That concept alone got me to pick up this new novel, but the fact that the protagonist is a woman of color leading a tech start up alongside her very charismatic husband got me to read it. It’s both an insightful and funny look at tech firms and as well as marriage. It will be a great summer read.

— Amber


“Tahmima Anam deftly uses humor to explore both start-up culture and the institution of marriage in an utterly charming and genuinely thoughtful way.” —Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

Newlyweds Asha and Cyrus build an app that replaces religious rituals and soon find themselves running one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.

Meet Asha Ray.

Brilliant coder and possessor of a Pi tattoo, Asha is poised to revolutionize artificial intelligence when she is reunited with her high school crush, Cyrus Jones.

Cyrus inspires Asha to write a new algorithm. Before she knows it, she’s abandoned her PhD program, they’ve exchanged vows, and gone to work at an exclusive tech incubator called Utopia.

The platform creates a sensation, with millions of users seeking personalized rituals every day. Will Cyrus and Asha’s marriage survive the pressures of sudden fame, or will she become overshadowed by the man everyone is calling the new messiah?

In this gripping, blistering novel, award-winning author Tahmima Anam takes on faith and the future with a gimlet eye and a deft touch. Come for the radical vision of human connection, stay for the wickedly funny feminist look at startup culture and modern partnership. Can technology—with all its limits and possibilities—disrupt love?

About the Author

Tahmima Anam is the recipient of a Commonwealth Writers Prize, an O. Henry Prize, and has been named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University and now lives in London where she is on the board of ROLI, a music tech company founded by her husband.

Praise For…

Praise for The Startup Wife

"Faith, feminism, and our automated future make for a delicious mash-up in this satirical novel. . . . Anam’s penetrating look at the tech world’s discrimination pairs beautifully with her meditation on marriage and faith." Esquire

“Anam has a wicked sense of humor, taking aim at startup culture and doomsday preppers while pointing out the lack of feminism and women of color in the tech industry.” 
—Connie Ogle, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A brilliantly incisive social novel. . . . Because The Startup Wife is sexy and funny and puts relationships at the forefront, it might be easy to overlook its depth and sophistication. But The Startup Wife’s insights about modern relationships, gender politics, race, technology, and culture are as excellent and vital as its storytelling.” 
BookPage, starred review

“Spectacular. . . . a powerful statement on the consequences of public achievement on private happiness.” 
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A clever, funny anti-romance novel set in the world of platforms, launches, engagements, and turmeric lattes."
Kirkus Reviews

"Explores an essential question for couples: Can you be both romantic partners and business partners? Newlyweds Asha and Cyrus are about to find out."
Marie Claire 

“Offers readers a glimpse of the challenges of creating and running a startup and brings the issue of gender equality in work and relationships to the forefront... Anam’s modern tale has plenty of talking points that will make it a good selection for book groups.”
Library Journal

"Anam's not-quite-love-story shrewdly exposes gender inequity, racism, homophobia, and male white privilege, achieving sharply exposing, skillfully engaging results."

"Tahmima Anam deftly uses humor to explore both start up culture and the institution of marriage in an utterly charming but also genuinely thoughtful way. With generosity and sharp intelligence, Anam offers real insight into the collision between romance and ambition, and the tangled relationship between faith and technology."
Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

"The Startup Wife is a nuanced and honest portrayal of gender dynamics, misguided intentions and taking responsibility for our own, sometimes monstrous, creations. I've never read such an accurate account of how it feels to start a tech company as a woman. We need more stories like this one." 
Susie Yang, author of White Ivy

“This scathing and brutally funny novel skewers startup culture and workaholism with the perfect story for our precarious moment. Tahmima Anam has written an absolute page-turner full of heart, wit, and insight about obsession, how we treat others, and when we stand up for ourselves. A revealing depiction of ways people gain power through work—and lose it.”
—V.V. Ganeshananthan, author of Love Marriage

“Compulsive reading. A deliciously timely, whip-smart buoyant dissection of men and women on the rise and the dynamics at play.”
—Irenosen Okojie, author of Butterfly Fish

“Beneath its high-octane, hi-tech surface, The Startup Wife is a funny, poignant, and supersmart story of ambition, independence, and love—a brilliant portrait of the times we live in.”
—Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire 

“Brilliant . . . A modern novel about love, startups, technology, ambition, and the future, all wrapped up in one. It’s very clever, but also subtle and very funny too.”
—Emma Gannon, author of Olive

“Fresh, funny, brave, savage, smart. Tahmima Anam hits every note perfectly in this novel about our new reality and the age-old problems of men and women that no app can fix.”
—Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fires

"Impossibly timely and bewilderlingly smart."
—Elif Shafak, author of The Forty Rules of Love 

"A brilliant and trenchant portrait."
The Observer

The Startup Wife is an extremely enjoyable, feminist rom com-- gloriously readable, irresistibly funny and smarter than you realize... I loved this novel.”
Gillian Anderson

Praise for Tahmima Anam

"Anam deftly weaves the personal and the political."
The New Yorker

"Compelling... Anam is cracking open secrets to let the healing begin."
O, The Oprah Magazine

"Anam's easy poetry and soulful writing is illuminating."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982156183
ISBN-10: 198215618X
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: July 13th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English