Grubbie Debut: Neema Avashia with E. B. Bartels, TONIGHT!
Porter Square Books and GrubStreet are delighted to present the latest installment of the Grubbie Debut series with author and GrubStreet instructor Neema Avashia in celebration of the release of Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place. Neema will be joined in conversation by fellow author and GrubStreet instructor E. B. Bartels. This event will take place at Porter Square Books: Boston Edition on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:00pm (EST)—please RSVP here for updates on venue and more.
“Commands your attention from the first page to the last word.” —Morgan Jerkins
When Neema Avashia tells people where she’s from, their response is nearly always a disbelieving “There are Indian people in West Virginia?” A queer Asian American teacher and writer, Avashia fits few Appalachian stereotypes. But the lessons she learned in childhood about race and class, gender and sexuality continue to inform the way she moves through the world today: how she loves, how she teaches, how she advocates, how she struggles.
Another Appalachia examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman, while encouraging readers to envision more complex versions of both Appalachia and the nation as a whole. With lyric and narrative explorations of foodways, religion, sports, standards of beauty, social media, gun culture, and more, Another Appalachia mixes nostalgia and humor, sadness and sweetness, personal reflection and universal questions.
Neema Avashia was born and raised in southern West Virginia to parents who immigrated to the United States. She has been a middle school teacher in the Boston Public Schools since 2003. Her essays have appeared in the Bitter Southerner, Catapult, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.
E.B. Bartels is a nonfiction writer, a former Newtonville Books bookseller, and a GrubStreet instructor, with an MFA from Columbia. Her writing has been published in Catapult, The Rumpus,The Millions, and The Toast. She lives in Massachusetts.