continue writing and never give it up."
dent Grace Ibitamuno Obienu's level of busy. She
with her first child.
both worlds, combining science and writing." Yet it wasn't
enough. "I wanted to actually directly impact people."
ing classes, she is writing a follow-up to her debut 2016 novel,
Not Yet Beautiful, about a young survivor of years of sex traf-
ficking. Her next book also follows her protagonist, Lola. "I
feel like there is a lot more to her story, and I feel I need to do
a little more to give her a proper ending," she says.
bed. "From around 5 or 6, I can remember typing out stories
on our family computer and imagining them one day becoming
movies, without too much information on becoming a writer.
information, more influence from the people around me, and it
has become a second-wave kind of dream."
before her family returned home to Nigeria. She moved back
to the States for her undergraduate degree at Marymount
University in Virginia. When considering medical school,
Grace knew, "I wanted the opportunity to do a nontradition-
al MD/PhD program, and not a lot of programs allow you to
do that. And because Robert Wood is part of Rutgers, I was
given that opportunity."
says. This summer, she was working on both of her passions,
as she took classes in public health and continued writing.
She sees a clear connection between the two disciplines.
fiction writing. With writing, the idea for me is to make your
reader feel something. My first book, about human trafficking,
was how do I shine a light on this issue? For me being a doctor
is the same motivation: how can I do something that at the end
of the day I feel I made a difference?"
Grace Ibitamuno Obienu.
feel something. For me
being a doctor is the same
motivation: how can I
do something that at
the end of the day I feel
I made a difference?"