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….
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
‘m sad that I’m not participating in the poem-a-day madness of National Poetry Month. That’s what pulled me into a poetry last year. I hoped to discover new ways to bring music and imagery into my prose, never thinking I’d fall in love with writing and reading poetry itself (something I’d always avoided)….
On Wednesday, April 7 from 7-9 pm, I’ll be joining Peter Sears, Jackie Shannon-Hollis and Brian Christopher for a reading and wine-tasting co-hosted by Oregon Literary Review and Blackbird Wine Shop in Portland, Oregon….
More recent successes in publishing my literary nonfiction: The Raven Chronicles has accepted a condensed and modified chapter from my ethnographic memoir, Sacred Threads, for publication. “Meeting my Future in the Dark” about the first meeting with my Nepali in-laws over twenty years ago should be out in print next spring or summer. After following […]
It’s wonderful to have more and more pieces published online and in-print. But it also feels a bit disembodied. If I’m lucky, I may exchange a few emails or have a phone conversation with an editor. I never meet the others whose pieces share the same binding with me. It’s all understandable given how busy the world is, but still odd….