Headlands Center for the Arts

Sunisa Nardone

california | writing
Affiliate Program 2015—2016

Artist Statement

I am a believer in the world-altering potential of literary fiction, which puts readers into the shoes, fingertips, and kitchens of characters from around the world. This creates connection. Seoul, Korea exists for me because of Krys Lee’s beautiful characters in her collection Drifting House. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie illuminated the Biafran War in Half Of A Yellow Sun. I could never mistake Nigeria for Kenya, provenance of Isak Dinesen’s blue waves—the Ngong Hills. Thailand needs more stories told about the country from a local’s perspective. Too long have foreigners exotified and flattened the richness of the country, reducing it to acquiescent, beautiful women and untouched beaches. Where did this fantasy of submission come from? As a half Thai woman born and raised in Bangkok, I explore in my writing what it is like to live, love, and exist in family there.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I am going to finish my novel. I hope! I have a manuscript 130 pages long, and I need to grow it by at least 50 pages. More than that, my work is to link what are loosely related stories so that there is a stronger narrative backbone to the novel, which explores what happens to a family when a father asks his oldest daughter to work as a prostitute. I look forward to the quiet studio at Headlands that will allow me to immerse in the family’s dynamic and continue to push their relationships into small, textured, subtle moments.

Selected Works

Here Be Dragons, November 2011, essay http://therumpus.net/2014/11/here-be-dragons/

Tibetans, Issue 2 of Cargo Literary, essay http://cargoliterary.com/article/tibetans/

Personal Website

http://sunisanardone.com/