Nahid Rachlin 2017

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

Biography

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

BIO


website: http:/​/​www.nahidrachlin.com
Nahid Rachlin went to 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-Penguin, THE HEART'S DESIRE (City Lights), and a collection of short stories, VEILS (City Lights), and a novella at Kindle Singles. Her individual short stories have appeared in more than fifty magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Humanities Review, Redbook, Shenandoah. One of her stories was adopted by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and was aired on NPR’s around the country; three of the stories were nominated for Pushcart Prize. Her work has received favorable reviews in major magazines and newspapers and translated into Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, and Persian. She has been interviewed in NPR stations such as Fresh Air (Terry Gross), Poets and Writers 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. I have taught creative writing at Barnard College, Yale University and currently at the New School University and at a wide variety of writers conferences, including Paris Writers Conference, Geneva Writers Conference, and Yale Writers Conference. 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.


NOVELLA

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.
MEMOIR
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."
NOVELS
"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