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About Neema Avashia
Neema Avashia was born and raised in southern West Virginia to parents who immigrated to the United States from India. She has been a history and Civics teacher in the Boston Public Schools since 2003. Her essays have appeared in the Bitter Southerner, Catapult, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.
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Books By Neema Avashia
2023 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Lesbian Memoir/Biography
Named the BEST LGBTQ+ MEMOIR of 2022 by Book Riot
Named a New York Public Library Best Book of 2022
Weatherford Award finalist, nonfiction
“Commands your attention from the first page to the last word.” —Morgan Jerkins
“I’m glad this memoir exists . . . and I’m especially glad it’s so good.” —Vauhini Vara, New York Magazine
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.