An interview with alum Serene Taleb-Agha (fiction, ’12) appears at the website of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College:

You studied engineering at Berkeley, correct? As you pursued a degree in the sciences, were you drawn at the same time to literature? Or did writing come later? Are they (engineering and MFA) mutually exclusive to you, or did you find a place where the two meet?

I have always loved books and literature. As a kid, reading was practically a matter of survival. I remember writing my first adventure stories at the age of ten, and I kept a journal and a suite of pen pals for years until school, and then work, took over my life. But I also had this logical, analytical side that really enjoyed science and engineering. So while I’ve turned away from it as a career, figuring out how the interlocking pieces of the universe fit and come together has always been a big part of my thinking. The struggle to figure out the world we’re born in, even while there’s all this ordinary drama complicating our lives—that fascinates me.

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