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Kavita Das

Freelance Writer

New York

Kavita Das

I worked in the social change sector for fifteen years on issues ranging from homelessness to public health disparities to most recently, racial justice. Now, I'm an award-winning writer focusing on culture, race, social change, feminism, and their intersections, featured in Longreads, NBC News, The Atlantic, Quartz, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Aerogram, and other outlets.

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Struggling with a Puzzling Illness, Then Living with Its Answer: A Conversation with Porochista Khakpour

Given Khakpour’s gifts as a writer and her candor about her health struggles, an issue to which I relate, I’ve eagerly anticipated her upcoming memoir, Sick, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to talk with her about it.
Los Angeles Review of Books Link to Story
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Passing and Being Passed Over in the United States

The experiences of passing chronicled in We Wear the Mask offer a prism through which to understand the numerous ways we all pass in our personal and professional lives.
Los Angeles Review of Books Link to Story
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A Virulent Privilege

"What is especially telling about this data is the stark contrast between the race and class of unvaccinated and undervaccinated children. It underscores dual narratives: one of choice, one of circumstance. It also begs the question: would this movement have been allowed to grow, endangering the lives of all children, if it was largely populated by poor families of color rather than driven by middle-class white families? Would its members have been generously perceived as misguided but well-intentioned rather than misinformed and dangerous? Ultimately, these individuals working to undermine the protection offered by vaccinations to our nation’s children have been protected by their own race and class privilege—benefiting from another type of herd immunity."
Nat. Brut Link to Story
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Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

That is the power of literature. Sunil Yapa’s Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist does just this for the momentous protests of the 1999 World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference, which came to be called the “Battle of Seattle.”. This complex set of meetings by high-level trade officials from countries all over the world was met by an even more complicated set of protests and obstructive direct actions.
The Rumpus Link to Story
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The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

Often, the books you love conjure memories about where you were or what was happening in your life while you were reading them. I have a very specific memory of embarking on Mira Jacob’s gripping novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing. My husband and I were sitting on a bench on one of the spoke pathways that radiate from the center of Washington Square Park in New York City, just blocks from our home.
The Rumpus Link to Story
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A Bad Character

When I picked up A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor, I looked forward to hearing the story of a young woman in Delhi told in the voice of a young woman from Delhi. This was important to me especially after so much attention from the West had been turned on the city following a recent string of sexual assaults, including the brutal gang rape of Jyoti Singh, a twenty-three year old woman on a bus in December 2012, which left her dead.
The Rumpus Link to Story
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The Last Book I Loved: The All of It

Have you ever read a book about a sensational event that isn’t sensational itself? That manages to transcend the shocking element to reveal a much more interesting and nuanced story, which then helps you begin to comprehend, even if not accept, the things that happen in extraordinary circumstances?
The Rumpus Link to Story

About

Kavita Das

Kavita Das worked in social change for fifteen years on issues ranging from homelessness, to public health disparities, to racial justice, and now focuses on writing about culture, race, feminism, social change, and their intersections. Nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize, Kavita’s work has been published in Longreads,The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Washington Post, Kenyon Review, NBC News Asian America, Guernica, Quartz, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Colorlines, and elsewhere. Her first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar (Harper Collins India, Fall 2018), is a biography about the Grammy-nominated Hindustani singer, who played a pivotal role in bringing Indian music to the West. Connect with Kavita on Twitter @kavitamix

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Skills

  • Writing
  • Strategic Communications
  • Marketing (MBA)
  • Project Management