Dr. Melissa Chadburn, author of A Tiny Upward Shove and self-proclaimed recovering journalist, shares her inspirations during this episode to re-launch the BookSwell Intersections podcast. In conversation with host Cody Sisco, Melissa discusses the foster care system, recovering her Filipina heritage and language to research and write her novel, the ethics of witnessing, and how to balance darkness and light.
Dr. Melissa Chadburn’s writing has appeared in The LA Times, NYT Book Review, NYRB, Paris Review online, and dozens other places. Her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, was published with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux in April 2022 and was longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award. She was just awarded her Ph.D. from USC’s Creative Writing Program. Melissa is a worker lover and through her own work and literary citizenship strives to upend economic violence. Her mother taught her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife and she’s basically been doing that ever since.