Posts Categorized: Nonfiction

Interview with 2021 Creative Nonfiction Prize Judge Anna Qu

Indiana Review is accepting submissions for the Creative Nonfiction Prize until October 31st. This year, Anna Qu, author of the memoir Made In China: A Memoir of Love and Labor, will be selecting the winner.

Check out what Anna had to say about sentimentality, the memoir-writing process, and much more in this interview with Creative Nonfiction Editor, Tyler Raso. And then don’t forget to send in your work!

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43.1 SNEAK PEEK: PANELÁK STORIES by DANIELA KUKRECHTOVÁ

The summer issue of Indiana Review is out now! Here’s a look at an excerpt from Daniela Kukrechtová’s nonfiction piece, “Panelák Stories.”

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Read the rest in Indiana Review issue 43.1, available for purchase here.


Daniela Kukrechtová is a Czech/US binational. She is a writer, scholar, and translator. She teaches American literature at Emerson College. Her scholarly work has been published in journals such as African American Review and the CEA Critic. Her poems and translations have appeared in Hollins Critic and CIRCUMFERENCE: Poetry in Translation and her nonfiction in Persephone’s Daughters.

Art by Arghavan Khosravi.

Review – Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, by Michelle Nijhuis

Reviewed by Laura Dzubay

In a late chapter in Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, Michelle Nijhuis shares a quote from legal scholar Holly Doremus: “Nature advocates have obtained much of what they have asked for, but they have not asked for what they really want.” The climate crisis has recently begun taking its long overdue place in the spotlight of international concern, and in that context, Doremus’s observation highlights something crucial: that we only have so much time to choose the future we want.

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42.2 SNEAK PEEK: SEARCHING FOR RANI by RAKSHA VASUDEVAN

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Raksha Vasudevan is an Indian-Canadian economist and writer. Her essays have appeared in The Colorado Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub and more. She is at work on a memoir.

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ANNOUNCING THE 2020 CREATIVE NONFICTION PRIZE WINNER

We are excited to announce “On Desire” by Caitlin McGill as the winner of the 2020 Creative Nonfiction Prize, judged by Bassey Ikpi. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work and made this year’s prize possible!

On “On Desire,” Bassey Ikpi said:

“I’ve often felt like the word ‘beautiful’ is overused when describing writing. I tend to use it when I know I like the work but can’t find the correct collection of words to make the point. Maybe a sentence or two or a passage or three jumps and sticks with me and makes it enough to coat the entire thing with ‘beautiful.’

After reading “On Desire,” I want to take back 90% of the times I’ve used the word out of sheer laziness and nothing else. “On Desire” is architectural in the way it builds on itself, stacking foundation, and layer after layer of story into a slowly crafted structure. Each line is wonderful; passages poignant, but there was a moment, in the middle of reading, when I realized I’d been holding my breath. I was afraid to disturb the thing that was being constructed. At first,  It felt fragile and delicate, but then I realized how solid the writer was, how sure, how steady, how purposeful. How much I trusted them to tell this story. 

We’ve all had quietly devastating breakups, have all slipped out of love like an oversized jacket. We’ve all gathered pieces of our childhood and dragged them into confusing adult personality quirks. We’ve all been in these worlds where our pasts and our futures and our presents become a collage of our existence. “On Desire” turns those ‘ordinary experiences’ into a praise song. Into a poem. Into all these mixed metaphors I’ve collected. 

This non-fiction short story made me hold my breath in spaces… not due to fear but to feeling like if I could hold this breath in, maybe this sentence won’t end. I wanted to live in some of these lines as the writers skipped and danced across the page– each memory sliding from the past, into the present, laying claim to the future. When I began, I settled into an essay about a break-up, I was prepared for tears or pity, what I felt was relief, not just for the author, but for myself. Thinking of the times I’ve held on to a relationship out of guilt, or fear, to watch the writer free herself from the relationships (romantic and familial) and her expectations of the past, was triumphant. The story was good and ‘regular.’

But, my goodness, the writing made my heart skip a few times. I found myself reading pages over and over just to make sure I didn’t miss any bit of the intent. This was one of the best pieces of writing I’ve ever read. 

‘Beautiful’ is overused, but not here—it can not be stated enough.”

FINALISTS

Jonathan Gleason, “Gilead”

Mimi Tempestt, “blue black venus” 

Lauren Rhoades, “Solomon Story”

Lee Anne Gallaway-Mitchell, “The Devil’s Balls”

Alisha Acquaye, “Fruit Snack Fairytale”

The winner will be published in the Summer 2021 issue of the Indiana Review.