On Eve’s Temptation and the Monsters We Make of Hungry Women

In this first piece in a series about women in the Bible and social constructions of feminine power, Nina Li Coomes examines the story of the Garden of Eden: “I first began to think of Eve as a woman punished for hunger in college. At the time, I was a recovering Atheist relapsing into her own disordered eating patterns. One evening, I struck upon this epiphany while staring intensely through the crosshatch glass of my apartment’s oven, willing the verdant kabocha squash (lower calorie count than sweet potatoes) I’d placed there to roast faster.”

Source: Catapult
Published: Jul 15, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,725 words)

ハーフ (Hafu): On the Fetishization and Mistranslation of a Biracial Identity

In the last installment of her column, Mistranslate, writer Nina Coomes unpacks the origins and use of the term, ハーフ, or hafu — meaning half, in English — and considers how bicultural identity in Japan is both otherized and fetishized.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jul 16, 2018
Length: 10 minutes (2,624 words)

Why My Family Takes a Thanksgiving Vow of Silence

A personal essay in which Nina Coomes recalls her family’s tradition of extreme unplugging — no reading, talking, using digital devices — while taking silent retreats at a Catholic seminary each Thanksgiving.

Source: Catapult
Published: Nov 22, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,533 words)

What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity

On the wonder and strangeness of occupying a perpetually in-between space.

Source: Catapult
Published: Oct 16, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,494 words)