This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted by Lucy Segar at Kite's Nest on July 1st, 2016. Meera Nair is a writer and professor of writing, currently living in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, although she is originally from India. She was a participant in Oral History Summer School 2016, in Hudson NY. In this interview Meera, Lucy and a local Social Justice Leadership Academy student Tahida Wahida, are conducting life-history interviews during a training for SJLA students and a session on interviewing youth narrators. During the interview Meera is speaking to both Lucy and Tahida, although Tahida is witnessing, and occasionally giggles in the background.
In this interview Meera speaks about her life and family in India, her home in Jackson Heights, her daughter, her writing and her impressions of Hudson, NY. She describes in great detail her grandparents house in India, and how she remembers it, as well as how she feels about the house now. She speaks about her grandmother's passing away, her mother, and her siblings. Meera also describes what it is like to to visit India for her now. Meera moves on to discuss her neightborhood in Jackson Heights, her community of friends, sharing child-care, cooking and her love of New York. She also talks about her writing, her developing love of essay writing, and a current fiction story she is working on. Meera describes her relationship with her daughter, what they do together, and how her daughter is growing up. At the end of the interview Meera describes her impressions of Hudson as a visitor; the segregation she sees in town, the poverty and the uneven distribution of wealth. This interview might be of interest to people who want to learn about India, writing, the writing process, Jackson Heights, Queens, family, immigrant experience, first impressions of Hudson, parenting and mother-daughter relationships.
Lucy Segar is a writer, educator and movement artist living in Hudson, NY. She earned her MFA in writing from Columbia University and her BA in writing and dance from Oberlin College. Lucy teaches multidisciplinary writing workshops for children at Kite's Nest, and is a founding member of the Hudson Sloop Club. She is currently getting her NY State teacher certification at Bard College. Lucy participated in OHSS 2015 and served as program assistant for the 2016 program.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”