Night of Vishnu: a Journey Through Marriage, Motherhood and Rebellion in Nepal is the story of an American anthropologist and feminist who becomes pregnant abroad in 1987, perseveres through prejudice and self-doubt to try a home birth in her husband’s Nepali village and discovers allies among local rebels fighting for change….
I am honored, thrilled (and, I must admit, a little bit scared) to have been accepted to two major writing conferences. Not only that, but I received scholarships for each: A James D. Houston Memorial Scholarship to Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference and a Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship for Nonfiction ( a full ride!) to […]
I’m thrilled and honored to announce that I’ve won the She Writes to Seal Press Publishing Contest. Seal Press will be offering me a publishing contract for Night of Vishnu: A Journey Through Marriage, Motherhood and Rebellion in Nepal. More details soon. If you’re interested in how the contest unfolded, follow these links: Seal Press […]
I’m honored to be one of five finalists in the Seal Press Publishing Contract Contest. The contest was co-sponsored by She Writes, an online community of women writers and invited submissions of full book proposals for a chance to win a publishing contract with Seal Press. I submitted a proposal for Night of Vishnu: A […]
For several years, I’ve obsessed over a project I’ve been calling Sacred Threads — a memoir on my complicated relationship with Nepal. I thought it would be one book. Unfortunately, it grew too long to be marketable, especially for a first time author. Fortunately, I now see how to break the narrative into two books….
It’s amazing I’ve found time for any writing at all this summer. Here’s a sampling of some other distractions….
Long ago (1994), I wrote and published an essay in Cultural Anthropology titled “Beyond Writing: Feminism and the Limitations of Ethnography.” That was in many ways my swan song to academia. As I licked my academic and other wounds and struggled to make ends meet, I was happy now and then to hear how my essay was being used in graduate seminars on research ethics and ethnographic writing. Now, Cultural Anthropology is featuring that essay among four others (as well as some fine short stories) in a curated collection on Literature, Writing and Anthropology.
The editors, Darren Byler and Shannon Dugan Iverson, also interviewed us with questions like “What is the purpose of stories?” and “Is ethnography art?” You can see my answers here.
After being out of the academic loop for so long, I find it gratifying to sit alongside thinkers like Ruth Behar (one of my favorite ethnographers) and Vincent Crapanzano and also among some fine fiction writers like Michael Martone and Lucy Corin. I’m also thrilled to discover ethnographic work by S. Lachlann Jain (Cancer Butch) and Stuart McLean.
This curated collection coincides with the 25th anniversary of Writing Culture by James Clifford and George Marcus, a book that influenced many in my generation of anthropologists. The latest issue of Cultural Anthropology reflects on that influence and where to go next.
Kudos to the editors and to Cultural Anthropology for a great job and for making lively collections like Literature, Writing and Anthropology available online.
I began blogging here in 2008. Several months later, I migrated over to a separate blog, which I named Yips and Howls. As I remember, I mostly did that so I could fool around with wordpress and web design…
One of the weights I carry from my academic days is a fear that in telling my story of living and working in Nepal, I’ll be appropriating The Other. As weights go, it could be a lot worse; I’m not complaining. But I’m always delighted and relieved to find others grappling with the same question in creative ways….
I’m still sorting through my reactions to the controversy emerging around Three Cups of Tea (co-authored by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin). The book has inspired many and been a platform for raising millions of dollars for the Central Asia Institute ( I recommend reading Jon Krakauer’s full allegations (pdf) against the book and […]
I began writing poetry several years ago and still think of myself as a literary fiction writer, not a poet. Not really. Poetry is something I dabble in and play with. Even after publishing a few poems, I still hesitate to call myself a poet. Yesterday, I learned that I received second honorable mention in […]
Yet another excerpt from Sacred Threads has been published, this one in the marvelous Raven Chronicles. This issue features writing and art on corvids. My essay isn’t about crows, ravens or jays (though I’m thinking I’d like to write about them some day); it’s in the Cultural Geography section – a recurring feature in every […]
Yes, I know my posting has been sparse. This winter, I’ve been a hibernating bear, slowing down and gathering my forces for the next season. I’m still working on my memoir, Sacred Threads. I’ve finished a rough draft of the entire book and am now polishing, pruning, making sure all the parts fit together. It […]
My essay, “Ama,” published in Crab Orchard Review, has been chosen as a Notable for The Best American Essays 2010. Although, I did not get selected for the final book, I am proud to be among such authors as Barry Lopez, Susan Orlean, Paul Theroux, Naomi Klein and many others who also made the Notable […]
More like, “Where I Try to Write.” I’m about to head back to the city for the winter. As much as I’m looking forward to an indoor toilet and indoor shower, I’m also longing for a private writing space (…)