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When I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it seemed like everyone loved the town except for me. Then I met Nasia, and discovered someone who didn’t just share my ambivalence about Ann Arbor, but helped me find words for it. We railed against the franchise aesthetic, the poorly named restaurants (Sushi.come?!), and my roommate’s misogynist, frankly racist rhetoric. But one thing I admired deeply in Nasia was the way that her ability to probe why something sucked was matched by her ability to articulate why something worked, what made it transcendent, from a bite of roasted root vegetables to a passage from Amitav Ghosh. As a literary critic (she’s finishing her PhD in Comparative Literature at UCLA) this is an all-too-rare trait. Most writers and academics lack the courage and heart to be as fiercely praising as they are scathing. Nasia is rigorous and brilliant in both modes.
Plus she is one of the funniest people I know.
Now that I’m in Berlin and Nasia is in LA, we’re a lot happier with our respective adopted cities, but I still rely on her to help me find words for what’s going on in the world, whether we’re discussing Edith Wharton, German snacks, or writing habits. She has a steadying and stirring presence, both on and off the page. I’m so pleased to welcome her to 60 Pages.

People
Nasia Anam
by Brittani Sonnenberg