Creative Nonfiction

Online & Anthologies


I cannot speak of voting without speaking of citizenship—the goal of many immigrants like me escaping home countries where they face persecution and death. Citizenship, for me, is a moving target.

Read at Kenyon Review Online

A Measure of Men

The first time I dressed in men’s clothes, I looked in the mirror and cried.

Read at Hippocampus Magazine

Bombs Fall Like Pollen

A bomb is a bomb is a bomb. But each one blows apart a unique moment. Eight bombs kill three hundred and fifty people in 2019, and I’m spiraling back, thinking about the bombs that fell during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Read at SLICE Magazine


My mother tells me to be careful.

Read and Listen at Cincinnati Review

Writers Recommend

I believe that writers should have a childlike sense of wonder about the world.

More at Poets & Writers

#BornConfused15: ‘Dimple Lala gave me the Lifeline I Needed in the Absence of Community’

In Boston, I was immersed in queer and immigrant communities that nourished and sustained me. In South Dakota, all I had was this book.

More at Brown Girl Magazine

"Test Group 4" and "SR-9"

The newest addition to Red Hen's Anthology Series, Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents is an anthology of flash memoir, personal essays and poetry edited by the adult child of an immigrant born and raised in the US. The collection contains contributions from sixty-five writers who were either born and/or raised in the US by one or more immigrant parent. Their work describes the many contradictions, discoveries and life lessons one experiences when one is neither seen as fully American nor fully foreign. Contributors include Richard Blanco, Tina Chang, Joseph Lagaspi, Li-Young Lee, Timothy Liu, Naomi Shihab Nye, Oliver de la Paz, Ira Sukrungruang, Ocean Vuong and many other talented writers from throughout the US.

Buy the anthology

Test Group 4

"My love affair with women started when I learned about the female suicide bombers in Sri Lanka. I was five. It blew my mind that women—the make-upped, dark-eyed beauty queens of Bollywood movies—could be dangerous enough to strap on explosives under the folds of their sarees."

Read more at The Offing

Draupadi Walks Alone at Night

"This is a rage we’ve all inherited, folded up in the pleats of cotton sarees, transmuted from the heads of our mothers at the same time they scolded us for not knowing how to cook daal, and how will we keep a man happy? We learn our anger through osmosis, or maybe it’s in the breast milk, spreading through our veins long before we learn how to look only at the floor and walk without showing our ankles."

Buy the anthology

Sanctuary: Jeanette Winterson Saved My Life

"My plan was to book a flight on my credit card. I would take a cab to the airport, arrive in a Midwestern town, rent a car, and drive to a gun shop. I’d buy a gun — a small, reliable pistol — and drive out into a cornfield."

Read more at Los Angeles Review of Books

The Rage-Trance and Fragmented Narratives

"My anger has fragmented these stories. Perhaps it’s because anger is not sustainable as an emotion. I could write only little bits and pieces at a time, couldn’t make myself stay in the trance for more than an hour. Almost all of the little fragments in both stories were written at different times, sometimes years apart, and then put together into a coherent whole."

Read more at Shade Mountain Press Blog

In Conversation: Writers SJ Sindu & Gabrielle Bellot on the Publishing Industry, Marginalized Identities, and Being Labeled a Queer Writer

"The art, and only the art, must exist for me in that mind-space. Nothing else. And at the same time, I know that my mindspace, which was constructed by the lived realities of my life (including my identity as a transnational queer writer of color), will inevitably slant my writing."

Read more at Lambda Literary Review

Dangerous Art: Thoughts on Danticat’s Immigrant Artist and the Creation Myth

"If you’re a South Asian writer who wants to get published in the Western market, the directives are clear: Write about a large family. Write about an arranged marriage. Give it a Bollywood ending. "

Read more at VIDA Exclusives

You Can Keep Your Bold Riley: Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

"Too many of the stories about South Asian people and culture that become popular in the Western world are told by white people (The Jungle Book, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, etc.). Shouldn’t we ask ourselves why white audiences seem to only want to read about brown people when, like Riley’s name, the stories themselves have been twisted and made palatable for them? Why is the consumption of brown stories still, at its core, about white people and their needs?"

Read more at Black Girl Dangerous

Mirrors Like Silence

"Carlos was sleeping in his oven when we found him. The gas stove on, unlit. Empty liquor bottles rolled through the cramped apartment, their quiet tinking vibrating the empty walls."

Read more at Rkvry Quarterly


"It stings the back of your throat, something sweet on the top of your mouth, the underbelly of your tongue. Squint through the thick gray air, the yellow haze of safety glasses. This is gunpowder, invading your lungs, combusting starchy smoke. This was not your idea."

Read more at Brevity