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In-Person: THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL: LOVE IN BLACK & BROWN by Nina Sharma

Please join us in welcoming Nina Sharma to Chicago to celebrate the release of The Way You Make Me Feel: Love in Black & Brown. For this event, Nina will be joined in conversation by Suzanne Scanlon. 

Please note: This event is free to attend, but registration is required! By registering, you agree to wear a mask throughout the duration of the event, per W&CF's Covid-19 policy.

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

“Nina Sharma’s thoughtful debut is equal parts memoir, criticism, and long-ranging conversation with a new friend. A love story for the ruminative reader that is generous with both scrutiny and romance.” —Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

A hilarious and moving memoir in essays about love and allyship, told through one Asian and Black interracial relationship


When Nina Sharma meets Quincy while hitching a ride to a friend’s Fourth of July barbecue, she spots a favorite book, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, in the back seat of his cramped car, and senses a sadness from him that’s all too familiar to her. She is immediately intrigued—who is this man? In The Way You Make Me Feel, Sharma chronicles her and Quincy’s love story, and in doing so, examines how their Black and Asian relationship becomes the lens through which she moves through and understands the world.

In a series of sensual and sparkling essays, Sharma reckons with caste, race, colorism, and mental health, moving from her seemingly idyllic suburban childhood through her and Quincy’s early sweeping romance in the so-called postracial Obama years and onward to their marriage. Growing up, she hears her parents talk about the racism they experienced at the hands of white America—and as an adult, she confronts the complexities of American racism and the paradox of her family’s disappointment when she starts dating a Black man. While watching The Walking Dead, Sharma dives into the eerie parallels between the brutal death of Steven Yeun’s character and the murder of Vincent Chin. She examines the trailblazing Mira Nair film Mississippi Masala, revolutionary in its time for depicting a love story between an Indian woman and a Black man on screen, and considers why interracial relationships are so often assumed to include white people. And as she and Quincy decide whether to start a family, they imagine a universe in which Vice President Kamala Harris could possibly be their time-traveling daughter.

Written with a keen critical eye and seamlessly weaving in history, pop culture, and politics, The Way You Make Me Feel reaffirms the idea that allyship is an act of true love.

Nina Sharma’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Electric Literature, Longreads, and The Margins. A graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University, she served as the programs director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches at Columbia and Barnard College. She is a proud cofounder of the all–South Asian women’s improv group Not Your Biwi. She lives in New York City. 

SUZANNE SCANLON is the author of the novels Promising Young Women and Her 37th Year, An Index. Her writing has appeared in Granta, BOMB Magazine, The Iowa Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places.

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the bookstore, which is a wheelchair accessible space. Masks are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request ASL interpretation for this event, please email events@womenandchildrenfirst.com by no later than 14 days before the event. For other questions or access needs, please email events@womenandchildrenfirst.com.

Event date: 
Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N Clark St
The Way You Make Me Feel: Love in Black and Brown By Nina Sharma Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593492826
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: Penguin Press - May 7th, 2024