Nahid Rachlin 2017

Nahid in high school by the Karoon River, Ahvaz Iran, dreaming of becoming a writer


E-mail me with any questions: nahidr@​
For information about my upcoming courses and readings please click on "Teaching," and "Readings" buttons above.


Nahid Rachlin attended Columbia University Writing Program on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and then went on to Stanford University MFA program on a Stegner Fellowship. Her publications include a memoir, PERSIAN GIRLS (Penguin), four novels, JUMPING OVER FIRE (City Lights), FOREIGNER (W.W. Norton), MARRIED TO A STRANGER (E.P.Dutton-City Lights), THE HEART'S DESIRE (City Lights), and a collection of short stories, VEILS (City Lights), a novella, CROWD OF SORROWS on Kindle Singles. Her individual short stories have appeared in more than fifty magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, Shenandoah. One of her stories was adopted by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and was aired on NPR’s around the country. Her work has received favorable reviews in major magazines and newspapers and adopted in college courses. They have been translated into Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, and Persian. She has been interviewed in NPR stations such as All Things Considered (Terry Gross), P&W magazine, Writers Chronicle. She has written reviews and essays for New York Times, Newsday, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Other grants and awards she has received include the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
She teaches creative writing workshops in a variety of conferences, including the Paris Summer Writers Workshop, Geneva, Switzerland Writers Conference, Art International in Assisi, Italy, Antioch Writers Workshop, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Iowa Festival Writers Conference, Vermont College Postgraduate Writers Conference, Yale Summer Writers Conference, Sanibel Island Writers Conference. She taught at Barnard College as a writer-in-residence and at Yale University seminar programs. She has been judge for several fiction awards and competitions, among them, Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction 2015, sponsored by AWP, Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award sponsored by Poets & Writers, Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize, University of Maryland, English Dept, Teichmann Fiction Prize, Barnard College, English Dept.

READINGS and talks often as guest speaker or keynote speaker in MFA programs, English departments, writers conferences and a wide variety of bookstores, schools, libraries, institutes, including, Mid-Manhattan Library, Princeton Public Library, KGB, Bowery Poetry Club, Stanford University, Hammer Museum (LA), New York University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Harvard Club, Fireplace Literary Club, Womanspace, Loyola College, Barnard College, Princeton, West Side WMCA, Queens Evening Reading Program, McGregor-Antioch, Deerfield Academy, Hadassah Annual Book-Author Luncheon (L.I.), D.G. Wills (San Diego), Petescandy Store (Brooklyn) New York State Writers Institute, Girls Write Now, Skidmore College Writing Institute, The American Association of University Women, Great Neck Public Schools, City College, Marymount Manhattan College, State University of New York at Buffalo, Fordham University, Barnard Forum Bookstore, Iranian Cultural Center (D.C.), Manhattan Community College, The Bronx Community College (The Literary Arts Center), Hofstra University, Hunter College, Erpf Center, Cornelia Street Cafe, Ohio University, Poly Prep, Black Oak Bookstore (Berkeley), Books Inc, Modern Times Bookstore (SF), Elliot Bay Bookstore (Seattle), San Francisco State University, UCLA Middle East Center, University of Washington Middle East Center, University of Texas at Austin, NYU Middle East Center, University of California in San Diego, Bowling Green State University, PEN, Woodstock Guild, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture & University of California, Irvine, National Arts Club, George Washington University, SUNNY Farmingdale, Dutton Bookstore (L.A.), Midnight Special Bookstore (L.A.), University of Seattle Campus Bookstore, Barnes & Noble Bookstores, The San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, Encore Bookstore, Borders Bookstores, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Hunter High School, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Columbia University, the International House, Manhattanville College, Southampton-Stony Brook- MFA, Women’s club at Chautauqua, The Writers’ Center (D.C.), CUNY(Graduate Center), Hope College, (Michigan), Boston University, Gathering of the Tribes Gallery, PEN Book Group Initiative (at several locations), Long Island University, University of New Mexico, Lindenwood University, Hudson Valley Writer’s Center, little Red School and Elizabeth Irwin High School, Montclaire State University, Pete’s Candy Bar, Sunday Salon, Iran Center at Columbia University, University of Rhode Island, Lindenwood University, Hudson Valley Writer’s Center, little Red School and Elizabeth Irwin High School, Montclaire State University, Pete’s Candy Bar, Sunday Salon, Iran Center at Columbia University, University of Rhode Island, Jonathan Shorr Gallery, Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction, Jonathan Shorr Gallery, Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction, New School University, Women and Children First bookstore, McNally Robinson Bookstore, Bluestockings Bookstore, Half-King bar and Grill, Virginia Festival of the Books, Nassau Community College, Brookdale Community College, John Jay College, Pen State, Prose Pro, public library in Princeton, Asian-American Workshop-readings, Rutgers (Camden), International Center, Yale University Bookstore, Wellesley College, Delaware County Community College, Purdue University, Western Carolina University Writers Festival, Wells College, Pacific University (Oregan), Utah Valley University, The College of New Jersey, St. Francis College, University of Michigan Dearborn, Henry Ford Community College, St. Olaf College, Stone Coast Writers Conference at the University of Southern Maine, Western Connecticut University. Art International Assisi, Italy, Muse and the Marketplace, Boston. Syracuse Downtown Writers Center, New York University McGhee Division, Northern Michigan University, Miami U, Oxford, OH, Sierra Nevada College, Claflin U (Pedagogy Conference), State U of New York in Binghamton, , Jackson Hole conference.
In Europe: Shakespeare Bookstore (Paris), Village Voice Bookstore (Paris), NYU Paris , Geneva conference (Geneva), book tour in Germany (covering several universities and institutes in different cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Tuebingen, Augsburg, Heidelberg), Jagelonian University (Krakow), John Cabot University, Rome, American University in Paris.


review: Chicago Tribune: In "Crowd of Sorrows Nahid Rachlin weaves a story of displacement and loss, centered on the idea that we build our homes around the people we love. Newly separated from her husband, Zora moves to a seemingly idyllic apartment complex to raise her daughter Anar. From the courtyard, they can see through the wide back windows to the building's young families. Zora imagines play dates and companionship, a place for the family of two to find their footing as the divorce is finalized. Instead, she discovers life at the complex is dominated by jealousies and petty scandals. Just when everything begins to settle, disaster strikes: Anar goes missing. In the search and its aftermath, Zora must come to terms with her ideas about security, independence and motherhood. The writing captures the gasping panic of Anar's disappearance beautifully. In a way, it's a story about the flipside of love: the consuming fear of loss.
REVIEW: NPR: The World, selected as ONE OF THE BEST FOUR BOOKS OF the year, by Christopher Merrill, Director of Iowa International Writing program: "If you want to know what it was like to grow up in Iran this is the book to read. Rachlin, the author of five previous works of fiction, including the much acclaimed Foreigner, begins her story at the age of nine, when she was taken away from the only mother she had ever known—her aunt, as it happens—and returned to a family in which the prospects of her becoming a writer were, at best, dim. But her portrait of the artist in an Islamic country on the verge of dramatic change is filled with light."
"If, as Aristotle reminds us, we are our desire, then who are we if the object of our desire is forbidden? What becomes of us if we are born in one world yet long for another? These are just two of the complex and difficult questions Nahid Rachlin explores and ultimately illuminates in this brave, engrossing, and timely novel. I recommend it highly!"--Andre (Dubus III),author of House of Sand and Fog, and In the Bedroom
"... a rare intimate look at Iranians who are poorer and less educated... I have read (this book) four times by now, and each time I have discovered new layers in it. The voice is cool and pure. Bleak is the right word, if you will understand that bleakness can have a startling beauty."
--Anne Tyler, New York Times Book Review

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