ei Davis is a former Analytical Chemist turned stay-at-home mom to three spirited kids. Her piece in AFTERMATH is called “Baking Day” and it is another one of my favorites from the book. It follows Safia, a young girl who struggles with the culture she and her family left behind in Mosul as she and a school friend bake a traditional Iraqi pastry. With immigration in the news cycle so often these days, it cuts through the sadness and paints an intimate portrait of a family trying to build a new life.
Can you introduce yourself as well as your contribution to AFTERMATH?
I’m a former Californian currently braving the seasons of Michigan, a stay-at-home mom who sometimes writes. I wanted to write a Christmas story with all the typical trappings—Christmas trees and baking cookies—but framed in a way that might be unfamiliar to most Americans. At the time I originally wrote it, the battle in Mosul was in the headlines, and it made sense to write about a Chaldean family experiencing that difficult transition into a new culture and society.
What attracted you to the theme of the book?
Loss and grief are universal, no matter the context or packaging. It’s one of those emotions that links humanity together, that everyone can relate to in some degree or another.
What are you hoping to convey to readers with your piece?
The story of every immigrant is necessarily a story of what was left behind, as well as what lies ahead. It was true for my own family, when they left China after World War II and during the rise of Communism, and it’s true today, for the thousands of refugees seeking somewhere they can live in peace. I hope my readers
will think of that the next time they encounter immigrants or refugees, to see them not only as people struggling to fit into a new culture, but as people who have suffered an incalculable loss.
Talk about some of your favorite projects you’ve been involved with?
I’m very new to the world of professional writing and haven’t been involved with much, but I hope to continue submitting to other publications.
What’s next on the horizon?
Currently I’m working on getting some of my work published, as well as building up a writing blog, which you can visit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find Mei’s story “Baking Day” in our anthology, AFTERMATH: Explorations of Loss & Grief, out now!
And don’t forget to check out our other contributor profiles of Joaquin Fernandez, Stacya Shepard Silverman, Alison McBain, Aneeta Mitha, Alexandra Lopes, and Alex DiFrancesco!