Naheed Patel is a graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she received fellowship awards for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years.


Her writing has appeared in the New England Review, HuffPost, BOMB Magazine, PEN America blog, Quarterly Conversation, Asymptote Journal and Sou’wester Journal.


She received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s 2016 July/August Fiction Open, and was a 2015 general contributor in fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.


Currently, Naheed works as an assistant to the Director of Literary Translation at Columbia University School of the Arts.

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Selected Writing

Essay: I Wish I Had Sesame Street’s New Muppet When My Mom Was Struggling With Addiction

My mother is a sharp, quick-witted woman who has an artistic temperament without being an artist. A child of two schoolteachers, she was full of energy with no real outlet. After she was married, she felt suffocated under the weight of societal expectations of the small town near Mumbai, India, where I grew up and where my family still lives.

Review: When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book by Naja Marie Aidt

On March 16, 2015, Danish poet Naja Marie Aidt’s 25-year-old son, Carl, died in a sudden, tragic accident. Her new memoir, When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back (Coffee House Press) is a desolate, yet clear-eyed account of the days following Carl’s death: an event that changed Aidt’s understanding of language and loss.

Review: Privilege is Political: On Madhuri Vijay's "The Far Field"

“I am thirty years old and that is nothing”—is the novel’s simple yet devastating first sentence. “This country, already ancient when I was born in 1982, has changed every instant I’ve been alive. Titanic events have ripped it apart year after year, each time rearranging it along slightly different seams and I have been touched by none of it…” In this way, Vijay unceremoniously introduces India, a place where pogroms and dinner parties often happen at the same time, where “…even now, at this very moment, there are people huddled in a room somewhere, waiting to die.”

Fiction: Call of the Greater Coucal in New England Review Vol 39.3

Noomi wakes up early on Sunday morning because her right ear hurts with a dull, regular pulse. Siting up in bed, she presses a palm to her forehead, which is specked with beads of sweat. Sunshine slides through gaps in the curtains, casting pale slats on her white sheets. According to the Cheshire Cat clock on the wall, tail swishing the seconds, it is just eight o'clock but the sweltering heat makes it seem like mid-afternoon.

Review: Third Millenium Heart by Ursula Andkjær Olsen

Award-winning poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s Third Millennium Heart, translated into English by Katrine Øgaard Jensen, is narrated from the point of view of a monstrous, cyborg organ, a heart which is a sprawling, rumbling mega-structure; a cornubation made up of anti-heroic, Archigram-like constructions—fantastical towers and castles. 

Author Interview: Readers are no longer looking for only the Exotic Indian or the Immigrant Novel

The powerful first sentence of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” could conceivably have been what Indian-American writer Diksha Basu had in mind while writing her hilarious, razor-sharp debut novel, The Windfall, set, for the most part, in a swanky section of Gurgaon.

Review: All the Beloved Ghosts by Allison Mcleod

In her recent book of essays, Abandon Me, memoirist Melissa Febos says the following about memory: “The French philosopher Theodule Ribot, claimed memory’s location in the nervous system, and thusly of material nature. Henri Bergson, in his rebuttal to Ribot, made a distinction between practical memory and pure memory, the latter of which trades in ‘image remembrance.’  

Essay: No More Literary Suicides: Challenging Intolerance Towards Literary Expression in India

An award-winning author and literary scholar, Murugan’s withdrawal from writing marked a huge loss to the canon of Tamil literature. Widely considered an expert in the Kongunadu dialect and folklore, Murugan has published authoritative editions of classical Tamil texts, as well as written six novels, four short story collections, and four collections of poetry. 

Review: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Two years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, Imbolo Mbue lost her job as a market researcher in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and like millions of other Americans, she struggled to find employment. While walking around Columbus Circle in New York City one afternoon, Mbue, who is originally from Cameroon, noticed men in expensive suits getting into cars which were driven by people who looked like African immigrants. 

Author Interview: In Conversation with Vikram Chandra

Vikram made his nonfiction debut with Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code,The Code of Beauty published by Graywolf Press in 2014, which was described as an “unexpected tour de force” by the New York Times Book Review. Geek Sublime dwells upon the points of intersection between writing, coding, art, technology, Sanskrit and ancient Indian literature and philosophy.

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt

See here a picture of prosperous urban life—clean, quiet, well organized, polite and considerate—now lift up the top and see the unfounded rage, the explosive violence, and the metaphysical distress bubbling just under that calm surface. This is what Danish poet and writer Naja Marie Aidt conveys to us in her latest novel, Rock, Paper, Scissors (Open Letter, 2015), translated from the Danish by K. E. Semmel.

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