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Nermina's Chance

Dina Greenberg

November 30, 2021

Today I talked to Dina Greenberg about her new novel Nermina's Chance (Atmosphere Press, 2021).

Nermina is a medical student in Sarajevo. She’s been raised in an educated family of Westernized, secular Muslims, but it’s 1992 and the Serbian Chetniks have started to destroy the city. Her mother and brother are murdered and Nermina is brutally raped. She manages to bribe her way out of Bosnia, flees with an orphaned five-year-old whom she leaves with relatives, and ultimately ends up in Portland, Oregon. She starts to rebuild her life and resolves to bring her own child into the world, but she’s twenty-four and can’t afford a medically induced pregnancy. So, she entices a ‘sperm donor’ who has no idea of her intentions. Through pregnancy and the first sixteen years of her daughter’s life, Nermina completes her degrees and begins counseling traumatized combat veterans. One of them turns out to be the brother of Nermina’s unknowing sperm donor.

Nominated for The Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and The Millions, Dina Greenberg’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared widely in such journals as Bellevue Literary Review, Pembroke Magazine, Split Rock Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Barely South, and Wilderness House Literary Review. Dina earned an MFA in fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she served as managing editor for the literary journal Chautauqua. She teaches creative writing at the Cameron Art Museum and provides one-on-one writing coaching for victims of trauma. Her work leading creative writing workshops for combat veterans resulted in Nermina’s Chance. When she’s not writing, teaching, or reading, Dina loves to work transforming a previously litter-strewn median into what she and a group of neighbors hope will be a city oasis. She also loves iPhone photography, building things (think DIY compost tumbler, raised garden beds, etc.), and power walking on Wilmington, NC’s Riverwalk.

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