Namrata writes fiction, non-fiction, and teaches multiethnic American literature for the Honors Collegium at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since over a decade, her work has been exploring the intersection of power, privilege, storytelling and social justice–via race, class, gender, place or migration.
As a postcolonial scholar, her writing has focused on maritime sites (boats, ports, beaches) and stories of global travel, empires, environmentalism, tourism and alternative models of multiculturalism in small islands, especially of the Indian Ocean. She has written on island literatures in English and in French for various journals and special issues on the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. Her short fiction, creative nonfiction and translations have appeared in Transition, The Margins, Literary Hub, Literary Orphans, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Hayden's Ferry Review, Necessary Fiction, Resilience, The Feminist Wire, The Caravan, The Aerogram, Jaggery, and elsewhere. Her story “Excursion” was awarded the first prize at the contest organized by 14th international short story conference 2016, held in Shanghai, and judged by Bharati Mukherjee and Clark Blaise. Her MFA thesis of connected short stories “Ladies Special, Homebound” is currently a finalist for the Second Annual Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, in collaboration with Tayo Literary Magazine and the Feminist Press. She has spoken on Anglophone and Francophone postcolonial storytelling in conferences across the world, and taught the same at different institutions in India and the US. These days, she writes essays on the power play and colonial assumptions in transmedia storytelling–be it in a contemporary American literary landscape, mainstream journalism, pop culture, or elsewhere. She also serves as Interviews Editor for Kweli journal where she’ll be a curating a series titled “Race, Power, and Storytelling.”
Namrata has a Ph.D. in French Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin fellow and held editorial fellowships for African Studies Center and French Forum, a leading journal of French and Francophone literature and film, and an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, where she received Liam Rector scholarship for fiction. She has served as Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Humanities program, “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” and has taught in the departments of English, African, Global, French and Francophone Studies at UCLA. She was accepted into Tin House Summer 2016 Workshop, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist and Writer's Residency Program in Mexico, has received scholarships from The Grub Street's Annual 2016 Conference: “The Muse & The Marketplace,” BinderCon LA 2017, and a 2017 Faculty fellowship from “The OpEd Project: Write to Change the World,” selected from nine UC campuses by the University of California, Merced's Center for the Humanities.
She speaks several languages and has "roots" in the migrant Marwari community from Shekhawati region of India's Thar desert–home to the world's biggest open air gallery. She has lived in Mumbai and Kolkata (India), Tours and Avignon (France), Quatre Bornes (Mauritius), Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and currently resides at Huntington Beach, California.