Skip to Main Content
Header image

Kiley Reid on writing realistically about people and money

By Kobo • April 03, 2024Kobo in Conversation Podcast

"When I was in my undergraduate studies I sat next to a woman named Heather, and she would always write out her expenses for the month next to me, while we were in class.

Obviously, that was at the front of her mind, and I feel like that's a normal, real reaction to the limitations of our world, and I wanted to put people like that into my novel."

Nathan spoke with novelist Kiley Reid, author of the 2020 novel, Such a Fun Age. Her new book, Come and Get It is set on the campus of the University of Arkansas, specifically at a dormitory called Belgrade, and it follows Millie Cousins, a 24-year-old Resident Advisor or RA to folks familiar with dorm life, who’s launching a second run at the final year of her degree after taking time off to look after her mother, while quietly inching towards buying a little house.

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

It's 2017 at the University of Arkansas. Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie's starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.

View eBook    View Audiobook

One of the delights of Come and Get It is getting to know the characters through the books on display in their dorm rooms, and it turns out that these sections were a delight to write. On choosing the books that the protagonist Millie would have on her bookshelf:

"I had a research assistant on this book, which was fantastic because she's so bright and quick and smart. ... These little bouquets of books were one of the more fun things we could brainstorm together.

With Millie, I felt like The Omnivore's Dilemma was something she'd have read in school and she'd have the hardcover and it would look nice. She'd feel guilty getting rid of it.

I felt that Americanah was something her mother would have given her. I felt that Sweetbitter was something she'd have her hands on. And The Girl on the Train maybe she read in two days like I did."

Subscribe to Kobo in Conversation wherever you listen.

If you would like to be the first to know about bookish blogs, please subscribe. We promise to provided only relevant articles.