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, forthcoming from 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.”

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)

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

 

Mentions:

Book Riot – 55 Amazing New Books You Need to Read This Winter:  “In this intimate essay collection, Nishta Mehra grapples with America’s rigid stereotypes about race, gender, and sexuality.”

Book Riot – 21 Great Essay Collections from 2019 to Add to Your TBR: “[Mehra] describes people’s confusion about her brown, white, and black family and how raising a black son—whose own gender identification is in flux—has changed her.  It’s an insightful, moving look at what it’s like to navigate a world that doesn’t always understand you.”

Bustle – 29 Nonfiction Books Coming Out in 2019 to Start Getting Excited About: “Touching on issues of race, gender, sexuality, parenthood, marriage, and love, it’s a timely book of essays that challenges readers to examine their own understanding of identity and family.”

Lambda Literary – New in February: “We’re looking forward to Nishta J. Mehra’s Brown White Black…In these essays, she explores ‘her family’s daily struggle to make space for themselves amid racial intolerance and stereotypes personalizes some of America’s most fraught issues.'”

Paste Magazine – The Most Anticipated Essay Collections of 2019: “Above all, Mehra argues passionately for a more nuanced and compassionate understanding of identity and family.” 

Women.Com – Fall In Love This February by Reading These 7 Books: “These intimate essays about marriage, love, and acceptance [are] mandatory reading.”