Writing

FICTION

Jaggery in Skokie Nights

The desire for death, for Rimi, had nothing to do with suicide. She didn’t want to kill herself. She didn’t hate her life. She was bored—bored of Skokie, of cheese fries at Greek-owned-and-operated Dengeo’s, of Beverly Hills 90210, of the New Kids on the Block, of pot, of Navratri parties, of Sweet Sixteens, of lab reports, of standardized tests….read more

ESSAYS

The End of Love (Letters) in Bloom

I must sound nostalgic. In fact, I am deeply nostalgic. These letters, these notes, even the faxes, were objects to hold, smell, caress, lick, fold, unfold, and cherish. The urgency in the letters was an urgency of emotion….read more

That Fall Day in love911

The sun shined that day, the sky the color of a robin’s egg, the air smelled of back-to-school. The night before, the office supply stores had lines around the corner for mothers to buy two-pocket folders, the teachers to buy plastic boxes from crayons and pick up stacks of photocopied worksheets. When summer bleeds into fall, when people wear sweaters, shorts, sandals and boots. And I was outside, and we were outside. How could we be inside?….read more

Typography & Other Inspirations in SAMAR

Since I was a young girl, when I looked at images of civil rights and Vietnam War protestors, I felt the aura from a time when art, politics and war were on the forefront of people’s everyday lives, when hair length and dress meant something more than fashion. I especially loved that era in the black and white photographs of my parents, my dad’s mutton chops and bellbottoms, loving the fashion, but knowing the story that he once got arrested and spent a night in jail—a story he doesn’t like to tell, but one his children want to hear. And of course, I loved the fonts….read more

A Better Mother in The Weeklings

A better mother would have an easier or shorter labor. A better mother would have cut her losses and had a C-section early. A better mother would have chosen a home birth with a midwife instead of a hospital delivery. A better mother would not be absolutely terrified of home birth, even with a midwife. A better mother would not have been terrified of childbirth…….read more

First Steps in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood

When I imagined having a baby, I pictured leisurely days, with lots of snuggles and mouth-wiping. I didn’t have a clue. I used to judge parents who “outsourced” their childcare to a paid stranger—not having any understanding of how modern families really work….read more

Shalini in Naming Stories

As far back as I can remember, I always imagined I would have a daughter. I even chose a name for her: Shalini. Shalini, the name of the protagonist’s baby, is the title of the first short story I ever published, in a now-defunct journal. I wrote that story when I was 19. It was the first story I ever wrote using Indian characters…….read more

OTHER BITS

Op-Ed: When A Mother Chooses the Pump in The Feminist Wire

August is National Breastfeeding Month, and mothers nationally are participating in “Latch-On” events — group photo-ops of women breast-feeding their infants. Yet left out of this picture are women like me: Mothers who cannot nurse, but choose to pump exclusively….read more

Interview with Bushra Rehman in The Margins

From that performance, it was clear Bushra was a gifted storyteller, one who could weave keen observation, personal experience, creative imagination, and spiritual allegory with her stories. It was also clear that she had deep roots in Corona, Queens, and that she would be returning there in her writing….read more