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. […]

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. […]

Photograph by Joel Fulgencio on Unsplash.
Columns

Perspective

Perspective is more than just a specific view of things, it is the parallel lines that spread outward in all directions but are all sourced from a singular experience. Memoir doesn’t just ask for the what, but also the why, even if that why can never be answered. […]

Gustav Klimt, "The Kiss," painting, 1907-1908, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere Museum.
Creative Nonfiction

Wedding Portrait

Centered around the televised royal nuptials between Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, “Wedding Portrait” tells a larger personal story in which racial boundaries are transgressed and questioned. Jennifer Bostwick Owens describes finding the courage to stand up to external censure and sketches a picture of building a life of evolving, ongoing love. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Artwalk, Corkscrew, Armchair

You’re at a friend’s art exhibition. The art walk at full swing, paintings are spilling out of doorways. But you are looking around questioning the festivity, wrestling with the value of all this work, and wondering about your own elusive art career, the course artists take, the meaning of it all. […]

"Rubbing of Apsarases (Dancers)," Cambodia, ink on paper, 20th century, gift of Mr. Jean Laur, Curator of Angkor, 1959, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

About Chains

In a letter to her daughter she put up for adoption, Holly Pelesky muddles through the emotional distance from her own mother who tried to leave her father once. An exploration of the tension between mothers and daughters; a reflection on how the choices we make wedge space between us. […]

Photograph by Cristian Newman on Unsplash.
Columns

Authenticity in Memoir

What keeps us from being authentic in our writing? Fear, shame, and ego, to name a few reasons, but authenticity can create connection and help readers recognize themselves in even the strangest of stories. To elevate your memoir beyond reminiscing you must bring your most authentic self to the page. […]

Stéphan Valentin photograph on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Swallow

Framed by the four phases of swallowing, “Swallow” is a personal essay about my first drinking experience and its aftermath. It investigates adolescent friendship, explores mother-daughter relationships, and blurs the line between teenage rebellion and addiction. […]

Bruce Christianson, "Underwater Fashion shoot testing with Sophie in a brightly colored flowing dress swirling with reflections on the under-surface of the pool," photograph, Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Miscarriages of Social Justice

Kelly A. Dorgan recounts her two miscarriages, including one that lasts eight months. Gazing at these experiences through the lens of intersectional feminism, however, she gains improved sight. Born out of her failed pregnancies are her new eyes, eyes that better see the twisting shadows of privilege, inequalities, and oppression across the female body. […]

An auto-da-fé of the Spanish Inquisition: the burning of heretics in a market place. Wood engraving by H.D. Linton after Bocourt after T. Robert-Fleury. Wellcome Collection.
Book Excerpts

‘Shver tsu Zayn a Yid’

“Shver tsu Zayn a Yid” follows a young anthropologist discovering his own ethnic identity as a Jew. The process was made difficult—potentially dangerous at times—by ‘background’ anti-Semitism exacerbated by Israeli government abuse of Palestinians, and […]

Mireya S. Vela, "With Snake."
Creative Nonfiction

Doctores

When people are marginalized, their doctors are, too. A woman remembers her childhood and the decisions she and her family made. Grandmother didn’t like secrets. She said to me, “Secrets come from Satan.” I don’t […]

Egypt, "Fragment of a Queen's Face," yellow jasper, Dynasty 18, New Kingdom, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 B.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Open Season

Blending styles including personal memoir, creative nonfiction, and photography, “Open Season” lyrically explores what it means to be a woman in America. The vignettes present flashes of microaggressions that women suffer and internalize every day, […]

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, "Peasant and Girl," color etching printed in black, red, and blue, 1921, Gift of Ruth Cole Kalnen, National Gallery of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

About Time

My father, born in Hungary in 1906, was often mistaken for my grandfather. Nowhere was the cultural divide between us more pronounced than on a trip to Budapest in 1969. We both let each other […]