“Not Dead” has been a world inside my world for some time now. This piece is my reflection on what the parallels between the violent murders of The Walking Dead’s Glenn Rhee and Vincent Chin tell us about being Asian in America. It was an honor to work on this with Jyothi Natarajan and for it to find a home at The Margins. Remembering Vincent upon the 35th anniversary of his death.
My essay, “Year One,” was featured in De-Canon: A Visibility Project’s “Writers of Color Discussing Craft – An Invisible Archive.” I’m proud to be part of this reader; this is just the kind of resource I wish I had when I was in grad school and one that we need both within and without graduate programs. As they well put it: “A few weeks ago I was thinking about how Junot Diaz often comments on the fact he’s almost never asked to speak about craft, and instead always is asked to talk about race, identity, and the immigrant experience. And it’s true — when I think about all the books on writing craft I’ve read or heard about over the years I’m struck by how few POC-authored books on writing I’ve seen. Are they really that rare? Or are the books and essays out there, but we don’t know where to find them?” Please visit De-Canon to read in full.
“The Lark Essays” (Bushra Rehman’s “The Man Walked In,” Sonyia Munshi’s “After the Robbery: Week One,” and my essay “What I Say: Notes of a First-Year Teacher”) were selected to be on the reading list for Hunter College’s “Asian Americans in New York City: Literature and Film” – a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for School Teachers co-directed by Jennifer Hayashida and Chi-hui Yang. So excited to be featured alongside Rehman, Munshi and so many other amazing writers and to be read within this incredibly vital summer program. Please visit Teachers & Writers Magazine to check out “The Lark Essays” in full.
September, 2013 – I was interviewed by Cathy Linh Che from Kundiman. You can see the original article here.
Cathy Linh Che: I know that you are now attending Columbia for your MFA program. How has your work changed during the course of the MFA? How has it remained the same?
Nina Sharma: I’m actually starting next week! This world isn’t entirely new to me though. I have a master’s in American Studies. I think I began to find my footing as a writer during the course of that program. It was a little bit of a discovery period for me—honing in on the issues and themes I care most about and how I’d like to attend to them. I took chances. I slipped in creative writing when I could, brought pop culture into conversations otherwise reserved for canonical works, and vice versa. I felt a newfound charge in my writing as I did. While I was working along these lines prior to my program, shifting into that new space, with a new audience, made me realize that the best writing comes out of a sense of risk. I kind of take that with me whether I am working in a program or outside of it. Continue reading