Salvator Rosa, "Three Figures Around a Globe," 1615–73.
Podcast

Episode 5: Transracial Adoption

We continue our episode 3 discussion on mixed-race families by digging into transracial adoption. Nicole Zelniker—whose book, Mixed, was the focus of that episode—joins me to interview Leah Whetten-Goldstein about her experience being adopted from China into a white, Jewish family in North Carolina. We discuss side-effects, critiques, misunderstandings, and assumptions surrounding transracial adoption, as well as the beauty of being in a mixed-race family. We get a glimpse into Whetten-Goldstein’s struggle to find an identity growing up in a predominantly white community as an adoptee, and she shares the wisdom she’s gathered along the way. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Provincial Gods

Deep inside an ancient ruin, writes E. J. Myers, “I came face to face with a deity, and the meeting did not go well.” What does it mean to confront a lost culture’s image of divinity? And in that confrontation, what is the source of the resulting mysterium tremendum? […]

Nasiona Books

What Would Happen If One Woman Told the Truth about Her Life?: New Book, ‘Vestiges of Courage,’ by Mireya S. Vela

Vestiges of Courage is a collection of personal essays that explores inequities and injustice. Raised between two cultures and two languages, Mireya S. Vela discusses how the systems in her family and in society worked to create an abusive environment that felt crushing, confusing, and hopeless. In her book, Ms. Vela delineates her experience of living through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. This book is much more than a collection of experiences, though. Ms. Vela wants to know how and why abuse thrived in her family. She digs deep to understand why these things happened and how she survived. […]

Eat The Eight, by Ron Sunog, MD
Nasiona Books

How to Navigate the Imperfect Art of Medicine and Prevent Food Allergy with Food: New Book, ‘Eat The Eight,’ by Ron Sunog, MD

In 2015, after a landmark medical study proved that the early inclusion of peanut in the diet of infants prevents peanut allergy, Ron Sunog, MD, set out to develop a great first peanut food for infants. When most physicians and parents did not embrace this important new information, Dr. Sunog was determined to understand why. Eat The Eight examines how difficult it is to acquire and understand good medical evidence, the complex web of reason and emotion through which people filter medical information, and the imperative to thoughtfully temper the science of medicine with the art of medicine. Parents will learn how a healthful diet can be key to reducing their infant’s risk of developing food allergy. […]

Podcast

Episode 4: Systemic Abuse of Women

We share four essays included in Mireya S. Vela’s forthcoming book, Vestiges of Courage, Collected Essays—a collection of personal essays that explores inequities and injustice. Ms. Vela discusses how the systems in her family and in society worked to create an abusive environment that felt crushing, confusing, and hopeless. In her book, Ms. Vela delineates her experience of living through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Ms. Vela wants to know how and why abuse thrived in her family. […]

Podcast

Episode 3: Mixed-Race Families

Journalist Nicole Zelniker, author of Mixed, takes us on personal journeys to help us glimpse into overlooked worlds so we can more fully grasp what it means to be mixed. Zelniker spoke to dozens of mixed-race families and individuals, as well as experts in the field, about their own experiences, with the hope to fill a gap in the very important conversation about race in the US today. […]

Sakai Hōitsu, "Blossoming Cherry Trees," pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper; ca. 1805. Mary Griggs Burke Collection. Gift of the Mary Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Book Excerpts

“I Guess I’m More Japanese Than You”

Nicole Zelniker’s book, Mixed, is a work of journalism about mixed-race families and their shifting identities. In this chapter from the book, Zelniker interviews Lynda Gomi, who is white, and Kazu Gomi, who is Japanese. They have lived in both the US and Japan and both believe that their cultures are a much bigger difference between them than the color of their skin. […]

Photograph by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash.
Poetry

She Who Flies Over Ramallah

You don’t know Zakia? / She is in grave number forty over three, over there. / They put my name on her mud-formed stone and / when I went to see her on that rainy afternoon, my shoes became stuck in a soupy quick sand which pulled me into the city of the always awake (those who no longer yawn after a long day’s labor, or close their ears to dull the screeching sirens of the bombs) / Did you know that Zakia hid in the cavern on the edge of al-Qusoor hill during that summer when the refugees outgrew their stay? […]

Photograph by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash.
Interviews

Literary Agents Answer Your Burning Questions, Part 1

You’ve spent months, maybe years, working tirelessly to tell your story and you’ve done it. You’ve written a book. What follows may be even harder: getting it published. It’s the word on every writer’s mind, and it can be scary, especially if you’re choosing to go the traditional route. In this three-part series, we hope to answer some of your burning questions, like What makes a literary agent tick? How do I craft a query letter? What are the best ways to utilize social media? To answer these questions, we went straight to source: literary agents. This article will give you a glimpse into the inner workings of the publishing world as experienced by literary agents. […]

Ep. 2: Mireya S. Vela's Vestiges of Courage
Podcast

Episode 2: Mireya S. Vela’s Vestiges of Courage

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? Mireya S. Vela is that woman. In this long-form interview, we discuss her art, creative nonfiction, social justice, motherhood, womanhood, being marginalized in the United States, and her new book, Vestiges of Courage: Collected Essays, which we, The Nasiona, are happy to be publishing in April of 2019.Vestiges of Courage is a collection of personal essays that explores inequities and injustice. Raised between two cultures and two languages, Vela discusses how the systems in her family and in society worked to create an abusive environment that felt crushing, confusing, and hopeless. She delineates her experience of living through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. This book is much more than a collection of experiences, though. Ms. Vela wants to know how and why abuse thrived in her family. She digs deep to understand why these things happened and how she survived. […]

Nasiona Books

What does it mean to be mixed-race in the US?: New book, ‘Mixed,’ by Nicole Zelniker

The definition of families is widening, whether it’s because of mixed-race relationships, interracial adoption, or numerous other factors. Today, it is important to hear from a growing population about race, their shifting identities, and what family means to them. At the heart of the issue are the mixed-race families. Many mixed-race children have had difficulties fitting in, whether with one race or the other. In mixed-race relationships, one partner may face racism, while the other may not, or else they will experience racism in different ways. Children who have been adopted into families that identify as a race that is not theirs often find that they struggle to fit in with their families as well as with people who identify as their own race. Not only are these families navigating US American culture at large, but they also must navigate their own family structures and what it means to be mixed. […]

Photograph by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

The Notepad

I take pen and paper with me everywhere I go, even on a hike, where I walk and scrawl at the same time. I figure you never know what you might find. Today, a chance encounter with a loquacious tough guy sets up a skirmish of madscapes and loosened memories. […]

Photograph by Nathan Walker on Unsplash.
Columns

Confronting Our Creative Fears

Our best work as writers often begins as fear and self-doubt. While it feels like failure, it is actually the call to collaborate with our inner creative forces. The challenge is not to avoid these insecurities but to embrace them and by doing so unlock our own potential. […]

Podcast

Episode 1: IM John Donaldson’s Chess World

Do the stereotypes about chess and chess players have any validity at all? Through the eyes of John Donaldson (International Master and chess writer, journalist, coach, and historian) we get a behind-the-scenes look at the most popular game of all time to see if chess really does transcend language, age, race, religion, politics, gender, and socioeconomic background. We also get some interesting anecdotes about Bobby Fischer from his biographer, as well as try to answer the following questions: Is chess a sport, art, or a science? What is the role of computers in the game? How much do privilege and belief play into improvement? How has who plays chess today changed over the decades? […]

Vincent van Gogh, “Shoes,” oil on canvas, 1888, purchase, the Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1992, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Sad Stuff

When her lifelong best friend died suddenly, Taylor Feld found herself severed from her childhood. “Sad Stuff” celebrates that childhood and explores that friendship, before and after death. It’s about how grief transforms, disrupts, and warps. It’s about the levity we find amidst agony. It’s about love outliving. […]

Lovis Corinth, "Death Visits the Strucks," softground etching in black on Japan paper, 1921, National Gallery of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Human and Divine

In “Human and Divine,” human limitations collide with divine expectations as a young pastor-in-training botches the duty to comfort a grieving family and bumbles his way through a dying man’s last moments. […]

Umberto Boccioni, "Head Against the Light (The Artist's Sister)," ink on paper, 1912, bequest of Lydia Winston Malbin, 1989, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Diptych: Origins, Neurodivergence

A shock medical diagnosis. A child’s awareness of her otherness in the neurotypical world. In her two-panel essay, Deborah Elderhorst ponders the gaps that exist between one person’s perceptions and another’s lived experience, even within the closest of familial bonds. This is a mother’s heart-song to her daughter. […]