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Nafisa A. Iqbal


First Language(s): Bengali
Second Language(s): English


Nafisa A. Iqbal is a Bangladeshi writer and MFA candidate at Columbia University’s Writing Program. This year, she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Through her writing, Nafisa aims to highlight strands of personal experience in the greater tapestry of the Bangladeshi narrative. She has been living in New York for the past five years.


What was your favorite book as a child?

"Unsupervised reading is a blessing for a certain kind of child", I once read. This holds true for both myself and the titular protagonist of my favorite childhood book, “Matilda”.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

Genetic predisposition. I belong to the third generation of women in my family to choose writing as a vocation.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

Choosing to move 8,000 miles away from my home in Bangladesh, to start my life in New York City, all by myself at 18.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

Music drowns out the sound of my inner monologue. I prefer the ambient hum of my refrigerator, or the buzzing of my AC unit as background noise.


Forget Him
Issue Fall '20

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz