The characters in Nishanth Injam’s The Best Possible Experience, his debut short story collection, are like many in India or in Indian communities in the United States: Working hard and enduring hardships to try to get a better life for themselves. They don’t always succeed—and even those that do lose something along the way.
That tension between hope and reality is at the core of many of Injam’s stories, whether it’s a recently migrated Indian family panicking that a white boy is coming to dinner, a college student trying and failing to get a visa, or a young son in Goa, increasingly frustrated with his tour bus driver father, prone to embellishment and exaggeration.
Nishanth Injam received an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of a PEN/Robert J Dau Short Story Prize and a Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award from the Key West Literary Seminar. His work has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, ZYZZYVA, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review, Best Debut Short Stories 2021, and The Best American Magazine Writing 2022.
Today, Nishanth and I talk about why he pivoted from tech to creative writing, how his stories relate to the Indian experience, and the trials of Indians and Indian-Americans trying to improve their lives.