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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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You’re Just Too Good to Be True

My absolute favorite song off the tape was Killing Me Softly. Listening to it, I felt as if I was all grown up, sitting in the audience at a small café. I was the person he sang about, who comes undone by the lovelorn songs of a soulful troubadour. I sang out with abandon, the windows down, drowning out city noises. Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words, killing me softly with his song, killing me softly. My mother continued to drive as I sang my little girl heart out all the way back to Queens.
Longreads Link to Story
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DOOZY MILLER: THE SPOILING OF HENRY JAMES

A few summers ago, my husband and I traveled to Florence and Lucca in Tuscany. It was everything I hoped it would be. Until it wasn’t. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
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Who Gets To Write About Whom

“Who is permitted to write and be published? Whose stories are seen as important and elevated?”
Los Angeles Review of Books Link to Story
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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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Mountains In Her Eyes

Annapurna takes notice of her son and granddaughter, and they make their way to the end of the aisle. Karthik hugs his mother. He feels her falter and lean into him. She feels more fragile to him than a year ago. When he lets go, she holds his face and kisses his cheek. Then, Annapurna turns to Akhila and before she can move to hug her, Annapurna grabs both of her granddaughter’s arms and pushes her back, her wide-set eyes searching for, and then finding their match in Akhila’s face.
Jaggery Literary Magazine Link to Story
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Recovering My Fifth Sense

Kavita Das recalls learning to self-advocate as a patient with a cleft palate — and as a child in a family full of doctors.
Longreads 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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Selective Perception of Disinformation

Whatever the framing or nomenclature, there is no doubt this country is embroiled in an imperative and visceral moral struggle for the very human rights its founding documents hold “unalienable.” Given this real struggle, can we justify our continued engagement in an ideological culture war?
The Kenyon Review Link to Story
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Red Ink of Revisionist History

Ultimately, to truly move forward as a nation, we must embrace shared ideals shaped by the crucible of a true and shared understanding of our nation’s history, an understanding that acknowledges not just our triumphant moments, but moments when we fell gravely short of upholding these ideals. And to arrive at this shared understanding of our nation’s true history, we must revisit our classrooms, where many of us first learned about American history, albeit a version which often was incomplete and incongruent. We must follow the trail of the red ink of revisionist history that fills many of our textbooks, classrooms, and consequently, our own understanding of our national identity.
Los Angeles Review of Books Link to Story
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Oral Histories to Help Readers ‘Better Understand the World’

Just after graduate school, writer Mimi Lok worked on a project that validated her belief in the power of storytelling. A volunteer researcher and interviewer for an anthology called “Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives,” Lok collected the stories of refugees. “It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and was a chance, at last, to really ‘go deep’ with people’s stories in a way I couldn’t before,” Lok told NBC News.
NBC News Link to Story
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India has changed a lot in 70 yrs. But arranged marriage remains norm.

When non-Indians ask me if I had an arranged marriage, I sometimes slyly reply: “in a sense.”. I’m an Indian American born and raised in the United States, married to someone who grew up in India. But it was our mutual friend, a white woman from Oregon — not our families — who played matchmaker. When I explain this to them, I know it is not the answer they expected.
The Washington Post Link to Story
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Immigration and Infertility: Talking with Shanthi Sekaran

A central conflict in Lucky Boy—the loss of parental rights by immigrants held in US detention centers—was at the heart of “Shattered Families,” a 2011 report I helped push out into the world when I worked at Race Forward, a racial justice organization.
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