Anu Kumar, “The Woman in the Well," The Common magazine (Spring, 2022)
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Anu Kumar speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her essay “The Woman in the Well,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. Anu talks about the vivid memories from childhood that inspired this essay about ghosts, fear, family dynamics, and violence against women in India. She also discusses the revision process for the essay, her interest in writing women’s untold stories, and her current writing projects.

Anu Kumar’s most recent works are the novel The Hottest Summer in Years and the collection A Sense of Time and Other Stories. Her nonfiction work on the lives of early South Asians in America appears this year from Simon & Schuster India and Yoda Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Maine Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Numéro SANK, Past Ten,, Atlas and Alice, and elsewhere. She lives in New Jersey and has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Read Anu’s essay “The Woman in the Well” in The Common at

Follow Anu on Twitter @anuradhakumar01.

The Common is a print and online literary magazine publishing stories, essays, and poems that deepen our collective sense of place. On our podcast and in our pages, The Common features established and emerging writers from around the world. Read more and subscribe to the magazine at, and follow us on Twitter @CommonMag.

Emily Everett is managing editor of the magazine and host of the podcast. Her debut novel is forthcoming from Putnam Books. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. She is a 2022 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.

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