BTS: Permission to Desire

Victoria, a woman in her forties, attended a concert on K-pop group BTS’s Permission to Dance on Stage tour and described her experience this way: “This is what being alive means. I forgot in that moment all the shame you have growing up, all the things that are stressful. A feeling of euphoria — it existed in that moment. It made me feel good.”

Published on BUZZFEED
"The Chair" Accurately Portrayed How Women Of Color Dress In Academia

Not only did all the politics of an old, white English department ring true, but I was struck by how the women in the show were dressed — particularly the BIPOC women.

Published on CNN
I'm 43 and a proud BTS fangirl. You should be too

Thursday night, BTS released their summer single, "Butter." The single hit 21 million views within one hour on YouTube, shattering records. I am 30 of those views, probably more by now. I am also 43 and an enthusiastic member of the BTS ARMY.

Published in THE LILY
I’m left with survivor’s guilt as I watch India burn

The crematorium in Kolkata, India, where I last laid hands on my mother’s body is now overwhelmed with bodies.

'Minari' Isn't a Story About the American Dream, and That's What Makes It Beautiful

Lee Isaac Chung’s breathtaking new film Minari is promoted as a “staggeringly powerful story of the American dream.” It follows a Korean American father who’s trying to reimagine what life for his family could look like.

The Water Cracker

Amadeus was the score to my first kiss. The music of Mozart blared from our small TV so my dida couldn’t hear what was happening. Instead, she lay sedentary on her narrow bed as the keen strings of violins filled her ears.

Published in ALJAZEERA
Emeralds and desperation: My mother and Sathya Sai Baba

She ran through the Mumbai airport and checked each airline. It was winter of 1984. We were visiting India from the United States and had been in Mumbai for two weeks. I was eight years old.  

Published in REFINERY29
Why Are So Many People Ready To Let The Elderly Die?

“Coronavirus only kills old people, and they are going to die anyway.” This is what a 27-year-old said to me a few weeks ago.

Published in ELLE
I Married A Plant And Found Myself

My first husband was a plant. We were wed in my mother’s living room in Los Angeles, with a large Panasonic flat screen TV serving as the backdrop.

Published in THE RUMPUS
The Durwan in Enough: I Live with the Monster

I was hungry. There was a kitchen at my school in Calcutta where they brewed tea and stored crackers and biscuits in plastic jars stored high on wooden shelves.

Published in LONGREADS
The Psychiatrist in my Writing Class and his 'Gift' of Hate

Rani Neutill recalls a literary workshop in which a white man critiqued her ability to write in “proper” English.

Published in CATAPULT
The Future Is a Bright Yellow Kite

She knew this could happen. It was, after all, the way things were. The promise of Rekha’s warmth buried it.

Published in REDIVIDER
My Dida

My Dida rarely wore a bra. Eight children suckling had stretched out her breasts, made them long. ​

Published in HOBART
The Beauty Mark

Sexy women were never alone.

Published in HOBART
Soundtrack to Ugliness

Picture this: It’s 2004. I’m living in Berkeley, California. I swear I am a cool girl.


My mother ate with her hands.

Richard Ramirez Taught Me To Pray

It all began with a visit from a woman.

Book Review: Jung Yun's, Shelter

Among other things it did, the 2008 housing crisis put the phrase “safe as houses” to rest.

Published in SALON
Sixteen years in academia made me an a-hole

After a decade at the Ivies, I work at a bar. But I've learned more waiting tables than I did as a professor.

Published in SALON
My trigger-warning disaster

I believed in trigger warnings when I taught a course on sex and film. Then they drove me out of the academy.