Previously, Nami has worked as an Avon Lady, a street vendor, a photojournalist, a waitress, an activities coordinator for a nursing home, and a criminal defense investigator. After earning a GED, she went on to get a BA in English from UC Berkeley, an MFA from University of Michigan, and has garnered fellowships from organizations such as Yaddo, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and Tin House. In 2011 she became a US Delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, Granta, Tin House, The Iowa Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and elsewhere. She currently teaches creative writing for Stanford and Northwestern universities.