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September 29 | 6:00 pm
This event is co-sponsored by Appalachian Journal and The Schaefer Center Presents series
When memoirist 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.
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. Her memoir, Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, was published by West Virginia University Press in 2022.
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.
“Readers may be Indian, Appalachian, and queer or they may be some or none of these things. No matter—Avashia’s beautifully rendered prose contains insights to which everyone can relate.” —Still: The Journal
“Compelling and refreshing. . . . Appalachia needs more people like Neema Avashia.” —Daily Yonder
A breath of fresh air, a work that the public is in dire need of reading. Wide and expansive as the land the author calls home, this essay collection subverts the mainstream’s hyperfocus on white male-dominated narratives from rural America and commands your attention from the first page to the last word. —Morgan Jerkins, author of This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America and Caul Baby
FREE and open to the public
Thursday, September 29
Craft Talk: 3:30-4:45pm
Book sales will follow each event.
Plemmons Student Union 201B, Table Rock Room
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Susan Weinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
PARKING is free on campus after 5pm. We recommend the College Street Deck (from King Street, turn down College Street at the First Baptist Church). To reach the Student Union, cross College Street and follow the walkway between the chiller plant and the University Bookstore, passing the Post Office and entering the Student Union on the second floor. For further parking information or a map, please see www.parking.appstate.edu.
ABOUT THE VISITING WRITERS SERIES
The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of the late Hughlene Bostian Frank (class of 1968), a 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees and ASU Foundation, long time member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Board and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.
- The Gideon Ridge Inn
- Hellbender Bed and Beverage
- Appalachian Journal
- Appalachian State University Foundation, Inc.
- Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs
- Belk Library
- College of Arts and Sciences
- Department of English
- The Schaefer Center Presents
- University Bookstore
- Thomas McLaughlin
- Alice Naylor
- Paul and Judy Tobin