AAWW at AWP: Stories in Solidarity for Asian Artists
Thursday, March 24, 2022
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm
Piyali Bhattacharya, Mira Jacob, Nayomi Munaweera, and Jafreen Uddin ask each other: why is it often difficult to build writing coalitions of color? What does it mean to build artistic community among Asian women, and why are these spaces so often riddled with drama? Is the root of the problem internalized racial oppression? That white supremacy tells us "there can only be one?" If so, what can we do in our writing communities to address this elephant in the room when or even before it comes up?
Jafreen Uddin is the executive director of the Asian American Writers' Workshop. She is the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1991. With over a decade of experience working in the public sector, she specializes in communications, education, and fundraising.
Piyali Bhattacharya is editor of the collection Good Girls Marry Doctors. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares and the New York Times. Her novel-in-progress has been supported by Hedgebrook and VCCA. She is artist-in-residence at UPenn, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction.
Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick and was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award.
Nayomi Munaweera's debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, won the 2013 Commonwealth Prize for Asia. The New York Times called it "incandescent." Her second novel, What Lies Between Us, drew comparisons to the voices of Michael Ondatjee and Jumpha Lahiri.