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Classroom Voices

Office Hours podcast with author Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint

September 22, 2021

Editor’s note: This is the second entry of Office Hours, NewsHour EXTRA’s podcast devoted to students interviewing their favorite professors about their work. This summer, EXTRA’s intern Jacqueline Kim interviewed professor Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, one of her professors at Amherst College.

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is an assistant professor of English at Amherst College.

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of “Names For Light: A Family History” (Graywolf Press, 2021) and “The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven,” (Noemi Press, 2018) a lyric novel about “home, inheritance and lineage.” The novel won an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the category of Adult Fiction and was named one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Books of 2018. In the interview below, Myint describes her creative process and advice for young authors exploring publication. You can listen to the entire podcast or skip to specific subjects using the bookmark links below. You can also click here for a transcript.

by Jacqueline Kim, junior at Amherst College and PBS NewsHour EXTRA intern

Welcome to a new addition to Office Hours, a podcast started by PBS NewsHour EXTRA interns last summer in which we invite professors to talk about their thoughts on recent news, their work or questions that students and educators may have about their specialty subjects.

I spoke with my fiction writing professor, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, an award-winning author of two books and numerous short stories, about the creative writing process, publication of work and practical advice for aspiring authors. Myint’s latest book, “Names for Light: A Family History,” winner of the 2018 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, is a reflection of her family history and of the places she’s lived since leaving her birthplace of Myanmar.

Although the genre of the book is creative nonfiction, Myint doesn’t see it as strictly belonging to any one category. No history can be pure and objective, for all history is made up of the narratives of people who have been there or have heard about it.

Check out these bookmarks to listen to the part that captures your interest — or just listen to the whole podcast here:

01:31 Creative writing in schools

04:02 Daily goals and practices

06:51 Deadlines and the writing process

16:24 Say what you want, or tell them what they want to hear?

24:14 Community and support through the writing process

28:21 The publishing process

31:10 Practical career advice for young writers

40:55 “Names for Light”: creative nonfiction, genres, our personal narratives

Jacqueline Kim is an English major and prospective Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought major at Amherst College. She enjoys violin, writing, sewing and crochet and journaling. Jacqueline is currently studying at Oxford University and is from Austin, Texas.

You can find Office Hours’ first podcast featuring professor Lawrence Douglas about his book “Will He Go?” written ahead of the 2020 presidential election here. The first episode was produced by EXTRA’s previous interns Ramses Rubio and Carolyn McCusker. You can also hear the full interview on SoundCloud here.

If you would like to pitch an interview with your professor on Office Hours, email

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