To exhibit the wonders of Indieland in our third annual Indie issue, we offer excerpts of three standout titles: a memoir by the inventor of the sports bra; a novel that opens during the Iran-Iraq War; and another novel, set on a farm in the Ozarks, that plumbs the Midwestern psyche.
In Unleash the Girls: The Untold Story of the Invention of the Sports Bra and How It Changed the World (and Me), Lisa Z. Lindahl recounts the sports bra’s origin story:
This “jock bra” idea was taking shape in my mind. As I noodled out my list of attributes, I wondered—could this bra be modest enough, “swim-suity” enough, for me to actually take off my T-shirt while running? Wouldn’t that be amazing! The thought was tantalizing. But heaven knows, sewing was not part of my repertoire. I could design and build a stained-glass window from scratch, draw pretty much anything, take shorthand, and type quickly, but I’d practically failed my sewing class in eighth grade. So, of course, I turned to my friend Polly.
What do Miss Piggy and I have in common? Polly. Polly Smith—my friend since we met in eighth grade…grew up to become an award-winning costume designer for The Muppets! Pardon the pun, but it was a fitting job for her inventive and comic whimsy.
Ari Honarvar’s debut novel, A Girl Called Rumi, animates a war-torn childhood in Iran:
As soon as women were forced to wear hijab, I had insisted on cutting my hair and had pretended to be a boy. But people began to recognize me and I had to stop, as even little girls didn’t escape punishment. When Sanaz’s younger sister was whipped by a fearsome-looking paasdar for being on a swing, wearing a skirt and no head cover, my mother forbade me from breaking any of the strange new moral laws. I wanted to argue that the demented paasdar was carrying a whip, looking for a target, that there hadn’t been any other similar incidents, but we were already spending so much of our time fighting.
Missourian Calem Honeycutt tends to the family farm on a day he believes he’ll die in Joshua Senter’s novel Still the Night Call:
Karen Schechner is the vice president of Indie.