July 1, 2013

So I wrote this book.

The Pomegranate King | essays by Nishta J. Mehra

I wrote this book!  [Ordering information at the end of the post]

“This book” has been a long time coming and a long time in the making; in its very first, very rough incarnation, it was my Master’s thesis.  My father died during the summer between my two years of graduate school, which meant that my second year was largely devoted to trying to make sense of life without him, and the loss of him, and loss in general, via my writing.  Needless to say, that version of this book was kind of a mess.

In the years that followed, I abandoned and then returned to the mess, adding, trimming, and trying to shape it into that elusive thing—a memoir.  But this book didn’t want to be a memoir; it wanted to be a collection of essays.  Once I figured that out, things started to fall into place.  As a grad school professor of mine once advised, “Form is the structure of the mind at work.”  Indeed.

Following Jill’s successful bout with cancer, I recommitted myself to the book project, and made a concerted effort to discipline myself to write every day, or close to it.  Inspired by Jill’s own ridiculous discipline and foray into novel-writing, I made great progress and came very close to being finished when Jill and I received a particular email this time last year, telling us that a birth mother had selected us to be the parents of her child.  In the flurry of activity that followed, the book project took a backseat to the baby project.

How many times is my life going to prove that the way I think things are going to look are never, in fact, how they end up looking?  And that life’s way is usually far bigger and richer than my imagination’s?  I always thought that I would write a book first, then have a baby.  But as it turns out, I finished writing my book while on maternity leave with my sweet baby boy, and I’m releasing it into the world just a few weeks shy of his first birthday.

The Pomegranate King is a deeply personal collection of twelve essays (five of which I previously published here) on topics ranging from growing up in Memphis to grappling with identity to grieving a parent to falling in love to making meaning out of all facets of life. One early reader said:

This is the kind of book that makes you gasp out loud when you read a particularly beautifully written line, that has you scrounging for a pencil to underline a perfectly turned phrase. It’s a book for people who love language, who love food, … in fact, it’s a book for people who love, period.

I couldn’t ask for a better endorsement than that.

peace. love. books. - what more is there?

I hope you will consider reading and sharing about The Pomegranate King.  I am grateful to all of you who have read and supported my writing work here on the blog for the last four (!) years; the discipline of a regular posting schedule and the pleasure of interacting with such a lovely audience have been absolutely essential in helping me complete this project.  Last but not least, I welcome feedback from all of you, should you choose to read the book.  A piece of writing is not real until it’s read, and I will be grateful for your honest reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads.  I truly hope you will enjoy reading it!

Here’s where you can find my book-

Order a copy directly from the publisher (print only)

Visit my Amazon.com author page (contains links to purchase the book’s Kindle and/or print versions, allows you to “look inside” the book)

Visit the Goodreads page for my book (lets you add the book to one of your shelves, allows you to read an excerpt of the book)





  1. I’m looking forward to reading your book. I remember when you were talking about it years ago. I’m sure it will be a delicious read!!!

    Comment by lois — July 1, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  2. I was going to write, “Congratulations!”, but I don’t think that conveys how awesome I think this is. Seriously — you did it. There are writers who want to write books someday, and then there are writers who pull themselves together, fight all the demons and actually do it. I’m putting this on my to-read list. Love the name, by the way.

    Comment by Lesley — July 1, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

  3. Do you think you will get a Nook edition?

    Comment by Deborah Melanson — July 1, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

  4. !!!!!
    That’s all I know to write. Hope you can read into the punctuation!
    Can’t wait to read it!

    Comment by Lexie — July 1, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  5. How exciting! I clicked right on over to Amazon and placed an order.

    Comment by Meg — July 1, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

  6. My husband and I read Jill’s book, “Quail Fried Rice” so I will definitely download yours to our Kindle app to read during vacation this Summer. congrats!

    Comment by Jesy a — July 1, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  7. lois–yes, it has been a long time in the making! I hope you will enjoy the read, and thanks so much for the support.

    Lesley–thank you so much for saying that. I am proud to have done it! And I’m glad you like the title–it puzzles some people, but hopefully in an intriguing way! The title essay is about my dad; he was the pomegranate king, at least in my world.

    Deborah–I am working on it, yes, but Nook publishing is proving to be much slower than Kindle publishing & I’m not sure why. I will let you know when a Nook edition becomes available!

    Lexie–that definitely works! you’re so sweet; I hope you will enjoy the read.

    Meg–thank you so much! I’m sure you will recognize a lot from the writing. xx

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — July 1, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

  8. WELL DONE!!!! And I second everything Lesley wrote in her comment. I was going to do the same but it’s almost like “Congratulations” doesn’t convey that you mean “Congratulations on summiting Everest! of the cathartic journey of getting what’s in you out of you! of being brave to share the deepest parts of you! on and on and on! Does Congratulations say all of that? It’s certainly what we all mean. Your world is different now, our world is different now – YOU WROTE A BOOK!!!!! Shiv has two author mommies!!!

    Comment by Kate — July 1, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  9. Just ordered it and will review and share it. Reading your story today sounds so similiar to mine complete with setbacks and life events that need priority over writing a book. Mine will be done this year and so appreciate the motivation you’ve provided me…..Wishing you the best of luck and healthy book sales!

    Comment by Laurel Lewis — July 2, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

  10. I am part way into it (on Kindle) and have just ordered a print copy for a friend who is taking writing classes and working on her own essay structured memoir. That’s how much I like it. Congratulations and Happy Fourth of July to all.

    Comment by carolyn truedell — July 3, 2013 @ 10:50 am

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