ABOUT ME

I am the only-child, first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants, born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee; proud alumna of St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Rice University (B.A. in Religious Studies), & The University of Arizona (M.F.A. in Creative Writing); a partner, parent, teacher, and writer.

My publications include two books: The Pomegranate King, self-published in 2013, and Brown White Black, published by Picador in February 2019.  I am represented by Maria Massie of Massie & McQuilkin.

In my past life, I was a food blogger & I still enjoy thinking, reading about, making, & eating all kinds of food.  I love literary fiction, the theatre, yoga, & hiking.  I am a proud board member of this important organization.

From time to time, I offer journaling and other online writing courses; you can subscribe to my mailing list to receive periodic updates from me about course offerings, as well as publications & appearances.  Follow me on Twitter or Instagram – you can also contact me directly using this form.

BROWN WHITE BLACK

Brown, White, Black – including audio & electronic versions – is available for purchase wherever books are sold!   You can listen to a snippet of the audiobook, read by yours truly, here

Reviews: 

Kirkus:  “Full of a wide range of insights and emotions, these essays effectively show the difficulties of being a mixed-race, same-sex family in America.”

Lambda Literary: “Mehra’s book…is a narrative that mixes a kaleidoscope of stories honoring what is both complicated and beautiful. It allows a world that is at once ephemeral, painful, and delicately raised in truth telling, and truly exemplifies Lorde’s meaning of ‘Honoring the Difficult.'”

Library Journal: “Mehra’s nuanced and thought-provoking work resonates on multiple levels—from the immigrant experience and race relations to accepting one’s sexuality, adoption, parenthood, and more. Excellent for readers interested in family and issues of identity in America.” (starred review)

New York Times Book Review: “Mehra’s prose is clear and heartfelt whether she’s writing as daughter, queer, wife, mother or teacher. ‘Freedom is a constant struggle,’ Angela Davis has said, and in this collection Mehra is unafraid to struggle for her own liberty.  Readers may finish these pages a bit freer themselves.”

Publishers Weekly: “This insightful, searching book will appeal to anyone contemplating race, family, or growing into oneself.” (starred review)

The Aerogram: “Nishta Mehra has a singular voice, one that is fierce, clear, and candid. This book is another guidepost for those of us who are queer and brown and born in the United States.”

 

Interviews & Recent Publications:  

Electric Lit – “‘Brown White Black’ Is A Love Story About Family and Identity [interview]: “Through frank, clear prose Mehra explores what it means to be a part of a family that the world does not often recognize. Her book is a meditation on lived experience and how one comes to be, but it’s also a love story one that emphasizes the intersecting identities of Mehra, her wife, and her daughter.”

Houston Chronicle – Writer Nishta Mehra describes her ‘family that checks all the boxes’ [interview]: “Making more room for people who fall into a certain category is beneficial to everybody: It makes more room for everybody. We all benefit.”

Modern Loss – When You’re Everyone’s Favorite Grief Doula: “Being the first of my friends to lose a parent, I stand at the ready welcoming others into the club no one wants to join.”

The Common Reader – Mapping the Desire Lines of Family [interview]: “The essays in Brown White Black ask the reader to not only hold ambiguity close in their hearts, but also to consider and respect the many paths to parenthood, family, personal identity, and love.”

The Gaysian Podcast – Creating Asian American Culture [interview]: “We get into so many things including, the role Hinduism has played in her connection to identity, struggling with both assimilating and standing out, and how she and her family are truly creating these beautiful images of Asian American culture.”

The Guardian – ‘Do you sometimes wish you were black?’ – how my child and I talk about race: “Beauty standards for women are so unforgiving and baked into our marrow as a society; Shiv’s connection to her body shape and size, her hair and skin tone, are all relationships to which my wife and I pay close attention.”

The Longest Shortest Time [podcast episode]: “Nishta Mehra and her wife Jill Carroll like to joke that they’re a family that “checks all the boxes.  When Jill and Nishta started down the path to adopting a child there were suddenly even more checkboxes to consider. Their approach to family is the subject of Nishta’s book.”

The Matriarchitects [podcast episode]: “Nishta…discussed the need for other communities of color to work against anti-blackness and both the frustration and the freedom of making it up as you go along when navigating intersecting identities.”

WNYC’s The Takeaway – On the Power of Love to Bridge Divides [radio interview]: “It’s said often these days that we live in deeply divided times, love seems to be one force that helps bridge those divides — at least it has been for Nishta J. Mehra.”