Nahid reading at the University of Southern Maine

Nahid reading in San Francisco bookstore

Nahid with other participants at UCLA reading

Comments

COMMENTS BY READERS

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Dear Nahid Rachlin,
I Really enjoined reading (persian girls) especially when you talk about wedding parties,noroz and other Iranian traditions . It took me 4 days to finish your novel. I'm A 45 years old Kuwaiti woman (engineer with masters in construction management) but my mother from Shiraz and in love with my half Persian blood and my mother's family . I really liked your way of expressing your feeling about everything and how you talk about different stages of your life without making any confusion to the readers. I felt that I was living with you because I was spending my summer vacation (3months) during Shah time and I had lovely time with the family,but after the revolution and until 1991 I visited Iran 3 times only and I lost a lot of my relatives during the war ,and Again after getting married (1993) and till now I visited Iran one time in 1998. Every visit I find Iran different as you felt, and I wish to visit my relatives soon but unfortunately My husband does not allow because he is Arab Sunni (who hate shaiaa). As you explained before women in middle east are still suffering from men , although women are more educated and stronger then men.
I hope to read more from your novels.

Dear Nahid, I attended your reading in Berkeley and purchased a copy of Persian Girls. It stayed in my bookshelf as I moved from place to place and the cover faded little on the spine. I finally picked it up a few days ago and just finished it today. I loved your book very much. It made me think of people I love and miss. And it gave me an understanding of Iran that I never had, making me want to visit it. You write very simply and without any pretentiousness. I can sense in the character of the narrator certain qualities I have known in myself, and in others I have known in life. That’s interesting, because you come from a very distant place. Well, anyway — thank you for writing such a lovely memoir. I’m glad I finally discovered it. MC

Dear Nahid, I want to tell you what a great pleasure it is to write to you. I have read Persian Girls about five times now since I purchased your book about three years ago, and I'll tell you, even though I've read it so many times, it's still as wonderful and mesmerizing as the first time I read it. I have read your other great books as well but your autobiography is the one that captivates me the most. Maybe because it's true life??? Who knows. ..I also write to you because I want to ask you the question that I'm positive you get asked the most : Were you able to locate your dear sister's child...? Bijan. In this age of computers and the social media I'm sure that it would be much easier. I sure hope you have. That would be like having a little piece of your Pari. Well Ms. Rachlin, I hope for you the very best and I hope that you respond soon and thank you for taking the time to read my email.
Sincerely, Edith


Dear Nahid, I just finished your book Persian Girls and I absolutely loved it! It's haunting and beautiful all at the same time. It's one of those stories that lingers with you long after you've read it. Do you still go home? How is your family? Did you ever find your nephew?? Thank you again for such a wonderful book and for being the strong wonderful woman that you are. Many blessings to you and your family! Dawn

Dear Ms. Nahid,
I have just finished reading your book 'Persian girls'. It is wonderful to see how strong you've been when you had to deal with all these troubels on your way to another, better life. I wish you all the luck in the future and I want to thank you again for this beautiful book. It's a book I won't forget very soon.

Hi Nahid! I just read your book titled "Persian Girls". I would like you to know that I admire you for your courage and determination (writing stories). Therefore, I have a few questions, if you don't mind of course. Do you keep in contact with nephew? Is the relationship with siblings are friendly? I read that you were in Poland in Krakow. Do you have any memories of that visit? Are you going to visit Poland again? Could I ask you any further questions about your past? best regards - Kasia

I am Fatma , 27 , from kuwait ,i read your book parsian girl , and i like it very much, i am very sad about your sister (Barre ) , do you find (bijan ) or not ?? What about (maryam) & (Mohtaram ) how are they ? Do you have athor book but translate to arabic ? I read Paresian girl only . Thank you i love it so much

Just finished "Persian Girls". Gorgeous, heartbreaking and more. Your descriptions of the country, houses, and streets make you feel like you've seen Iran. Nahid, I had no idea, back in our school days, just how much you had, and were, going through. You certainly deserve all the success you've created!

Dear Ms. Nahid,
I want to say you thanks, for everything what you are doing for women! i read your book and it made tears in my eyes, it's beautiful. I was born in Australia, but I live in Poland from time when i was child. I believe that it's never mind where you were born, or where you were living... if you know what you want and you are able to move in the right direction- you will be have whatever you want. It's never mind what is your color of skin or religion, nationality... people shouldn't care about it! people should care about "what can i do to better person". Anyway, when i was read your book i was thinking "whaaat?! why?!" i still have a problem with understand way of thinking people who were grow up in plance where it's bad to say own opinion, where women is less important than man. I'm very intrested in, because firstly i was thinking it's just a LEGEND! I was thinking "come on! it's impossible that somewhere is living THAT BAD PEOPLEwhy that can't call the police!!" haha, right now i know that a lot of women feel good on it, they are feel safe and they are happy, but i couldn't share this kind of view, but i read a lot of book about it, so i can respect it. I'm still think that people should know more about it! In europe, for sure! Ihope that if 'world' will be more know about problems, it would be more probability that someone , some group will be find ways to help. I believe that normal propaganda of equality between women and men is able to help, just conversation, just to every girl know that she is important because SHE IS not because she have a husband or children.
All respect for you, and all the best!
Veronika, 21 years old.

Dear Ms.Nahid, your memoir has touched me deeply. It speaks to me on so many levels and I truly thank you for writing such an amazing book. Your story is one of bravery, compassion and healing and I hope to keep it in my heart and mind forever! Thank you once again!! Dalia

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I started to read Persian Girls and found it quite intriguing. As an Iranian girl from the generation born after the revolution, I have to thank you for creating such a genuine account of history and of culture. Unfortunately the young Iranians usually are not interested in history because during our school years we read many censored and selected texts which were quite boring and inaccurate. I am proud of your book and believe that more than politics and economy, the Iranian society of today needs literature and fiction to give it a push by returning a sense of history and time to it.

Dear Nahid,
I am really moved by your novel, Foreigner. Feri was, for me, a very likeable character, and I respected her even more as she became more reflective and serious about her own life and values. I learned things about myself which I was a bit surprised at. When Feri first begins to question aspects of her American life and to value some aspects of her Iranian life, I was taken aback, wondering -- How can you be serious? I was simply startled at how much my own views have just internalized so much of American life as “life as it should be.” You, as an author, were able to push me very much to become sympathetic with Feri’s journey, no matter how it eventually turned out. A well-written and thoughtful novel. Bob

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I just finished your wonderful book, PERSIAN GIRLS. I am a constant reader but very rarely feel compelled to write an author. However, your book was so very special that I wanted to say how much it moved me.
I wonder if you could tell me what has happened to your family in Iran since 2006? Are Mohtaram and Maryam still alive(I hope so) and is Manijeh still caring for them? Did you ever find Pari's son?
I am a Jewish woman and am interested in how you and your husband managed to blend your lives. Well, I guess I actually am saying I wish you would write a sequel to "Persian Girls"! Do you have any plans for a sequel?
Sorry for being so inquisitive! It is just that your book really made me care about your life and that of your family! Thank you so much for writing it. Sue

Dear Nahid, Just finished your beautiful memoir, "Persian Girls". Fabulous memoir, so true that one cannot dissociate themselves from you, the author, in all moments of pains, happiness or surprises. I recommended it to all friends interested in memoirs. Venus

Dear Ms. Nahid Rachlin,
I've never written to an author before but I am a great lover of books and I just finished your memoir, Persian Girls, the other week and felt compelled to write you. I first read your story in New York magazine about how your mother gave you away so you said she died. There was something so startling about how those memories were captured that I immediately reserved your book at the library. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing style—the little details you depicted, almost narrating the story like in a children's book, which I suppose is fitting considering you were a child for most of those events, even the ones you experienced as an adult probably brought you back deeply to your youth and feelings as a youth.
I'm not really sure how I managed reading the book in public without crying. The story itself is, of course, traumatic but your prose seemed to breathe the stress, love, tension, anger, confusion directly into my body. I am sincerely thankful that you had the courage to tell your story and give the world an inside look at what it was like for a young Iranian girl to grow up in Iran. I look forward to reading your fiction and your future novels. Best, Heather

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I just finished reading your book Persian Girls. I
couldn't put it down once I started. What an
incredibly touching and warm story it is. I enjoyed
it. Well done. I wish you well in your future
writings. You have a special pen. Keep it up.
Warm regards. James

Nahid: your book “ jumping over fire” is very educational. I definitely learned a lot about Iran and the revolution history. I feel it is what’s happening now in Syria.
Also the idea of incest taboo among adopted siblings is very interesting, I have never thought about it and the way you presented it was very interesting to think about. I still don’t have a clear opinion about it. I finished the book in three days and I think about it every day. the more I think about it, the more I like. It had a very nice transition between Iran, the US and the struggles in both despite the differences between the two countries. Beautifully written. Salma

Dear Nahid, I enjoy your work so much...such inspiration and bravery...i was first introduced to your work when i was in college taking a womans literature course...my professor at the time was also teaching at Barnard and she did her disertation at Columbia...the first book that i read was 'Married to a Stranger'...it made such an impact on me for at the time of my reading that book, i too was going through similar experiences...Cannot wait to read more of your work in the future! AT

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I heard about PERSIAN GIRLS on NPR a few years ago. But time passed by and just recently I began to read it. The book kept my interest throughout and made me want to pick it up every night to read a few more chapters until it was finished. The elegant simplicity of the prose has resonance and appeal and renders a power to the story in such a way that I have rarely felt in memoirs. Jennifer

Dear Nahid,
PERSIAN GIRLS is one of the best memoirs I have read. It doesn’t contain tedious analysis of decisions made or blows life has dealt, that is very common in many memoirs. I congratulate you for your gift of sharing your life story without an excess of words and still managing to move the reader deeply. Sally

Dear Mrs. Rachlin, I read your book, Persian Girls and it found a place in my heart and has remained there. I was able to get my book club to read your story and will be discussing it this week. We all teach in a private school in Knoxville. I wish you were nearby so that we could talk to you face to face about your family, culture, and life journey. As Tennesseeans, we are perceived at times to be a bit close-minded. Stories such as yours help us to open our hearts and minds to others whose lives seem so different. Thank you for for sharing your story and helping to connect our worlds. As teachers, we will do our best to help our students experience this connection, too.
May you be blessed with good health and much happiness.
Most Sincerely, Beth

Nahid-- I loved PERSIAN GIRLS. I bought the book to make me remember my visit to Iran and it turned out to be much more than that. Your themes of freedom, cultural constraints and the generation gap, are so well done. The language is powerful. There shouldn't be any barriers in our minds for ideas to flow in or out but there are certain things that we should tolerate. Yet, whether to give in or not is a personal choice! Kasum

Dear Nahid, just finished Persian Girls. Such an amazing story of family and courage!! You are the kind of story teller that leaves an impression on the heart! Thanks for sharing you life. Anne

Dear Nahid (if I may)
I don't often write to authors, but in this digital era, where emails are more readily available, I thought I would write to thank you for Persian Girls. I've just finished reading it, and it really touched me, especially your last line about wanting to write the book to bring Pari back in some way.
I'm half-Persian. I grew up in Scotland to a Persian mother and Scottish father, making me a very unusual creature in a small Scottish village in the 1970s! I now live in LA, with my American husband and small Iranian-Scottish-German-Russian daughter, a true citizen of the world.
I've never been to Iran (having a Bahai family, some of whom were killed in the revolution, it was never easy to travel there) and I don't speak Farsi. And I lost my mother nearly two decades ago. As a result, I take great pleasure in reading books and watching movies about Iran. Yours stands out. I felt immersed in your world while I read it, and that is exactly what a book should bring to a reader.
So, again, thank you for writing it. As a writer myself, I know how great it is to get positive feedback - so I wanted to make sure to let you know how much I enjoyed it.
Best wishes, Roshan

My name is Sami and I wanted to contact you regarding Persian Girls.
I just checked out your book yesterday from the public library and can barely put it down. So much of what I've read so far brings back memories of what I witnessed or heard about while married to a Persian man, e-s-p-e-c-i-a-l-l-y "taarof."
I have an independently published book entitled "Broken Toy" through Authorhouse, but since I did not have a good marketing plan, it did not make much money. It was more therapeutic than anything; however, I am currently trying to convert it to a screenplay with much more information included. I know all too well about how your culture dislikes any "airing of dirty laundry" and that really isn't the premise of my book - it's more about a relationship gone wrong primarily due to cultural differences. I just wanted to say hello and let you know I think your writing is exquisite and I intend to eventually read your previous books. Take care.

Dear Nahid, I started reading your book Persian Girls in Arabic and I love it. I am interested in changes in Persian society through time and how politics and religion affects people's life, choices and their feeling about their country. If you are curious to know me, im Saudi Arabian woman has awarded my first degree in food and nutrition and currently doing my second major in Sociology in Canada. Fatema

Dear Mrs Rachlin,
I read your book 'Persian girls' and and now is one of my favorite books. I read a lot about Islam, Middle East and Africa. I would like to visit Iran someday, I hope that someday I will be able. Now I'm trying to get your other books. Thank you.
Greetings from Poland, Malwina.

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I just finished reading your novel, JUMPING OVER FIRE. Though it was published a few years ago, I recently came across it. It's such a beautifully crafted tale, written with subtlety and insight that is rare in modern prose. Your deeply moving story about the Ellahi family, caught up in the throes of the Iranian revolution, touched me on a myriad of topics, including forbidden love, and the loss and abandonment of family and country. What is most remarkable is the empathy you bring to each character -- particularly to Nora, the heroine, who, by birth and by circumstance, straddles two cultures. JUMPING OVER FIRE presents a window into this unique world. Nancy Jamali

Dear Nahid, I hope you are doing well!
I don't know if you remember me. I'm the Brazilian one who loved your book Persian Girls and I wrote for you asking some help to write my college paper about Afghan girls. Well...I came to say thank you! 4 years ago your book inspired me to study International Relations and I just graduated with a monograph about the condition of the women in Afghanistan since the modern Afghan monarchy to the fall of the Taliban. And my grade was 10...it can sounds weird, but sometimes a book can change our lives. Best regards...Iris

what a wonderful book, beautiful writing, accessible and very insightful,especially for our American friends. I introduced it to a few of them and their response was "WOW, we didn't know any of these,so glad you shared this with us" Parviz

Hello, I just finished your book Persian Girls and wanted to let you know I’m very touched by your story. Thanks for sharing it. Such an enrichment to get a warm, different, personal and authentic description of your home country. And an honest testimony of all the good and less good things that came forth from your culture.
Proves once again that nothing is ever a simple as it seems… It’s been a few years since you wrote this book, and I wonder if you ever found Bijan and got the chance to tell him about his beautiful mother.
Kind regards, Chantal (Belgium)

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I have never read a memoir that has compared with PERSIAN GIRLS. I simply could not put the book down. Thank you for writing it. You are an amazing, engaging writer. Best wishes, Megan


I just wanted to let you know that I read your book, Persian Girls, and that it was one of the best books I have ever read. I can't recall being so touched. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.
Sincerely,

Richelle Zakrzewski

Hi Ms. Nahid Rachlin, I just want to be brief, because I have so much to say. I love your Book the Persian Girls. You opened up my eyes to a whole new world of a vibrant culture rich in its own essence. I love the book so much, i never thought i would be as interested as to email you and let you know that your book moved me dramatically. We are two strangers, you from Persia/Iran, and me from Jamaica. We are also of different cultures as well as of different generation. I am 23 years young. The way you wrote/present your book made me feel as if we known each other from a different time/life.
With peace and love
Amifika

Dear Nahid, I met you at Purdue and read your memoir. It was stunning. I lent it to my daughter who read it also. Anyhow, best wishes to you. Dana

Dear Ms Rachlin,
I ran across your reference to Persian Girls at your website link from the Authors Guild home page, bought two copies. I gave one to my daughter-in-law, who is the product of a Tehran Shia (father)/Southern Baptist (mother) marriage and had a really traumatic early life (her parents divorced shortly after the overthrow of the Shah).
I loved the book: it was so down-to-earth and believable. It moved easily between two worlds. I wish it were better known. Even though there are quite a few moving books on cultural differences between Iran and US, I hold yours in especially high regard. Elenor

I typically do not read books a second time, but upon my return from a trip to Iran I read Persian Girls again. In many ways I enjoyed it even more the second time around. I could appreciate all of the details you included, for example-you mention buying steamed beets from a street vendor. I didnt absorb such details until I had seen the cultural landscape myself. Reading the book felt more familiar and it was comforting after being there many weeks and the culture shock of returning home.
That is to say nothing of how much I appreciate you sharing such private and painful memories. I have read many memoirs, but yours made a real difference in my life. Thank you. all the best, Alice

Dear Nahid,
Thanks for writing your book "Persian Girls". I did read the Dutch version and finished it in two days. Wonderfull. Monica

Dear Nahid, As a male reader I came away from this wonderful and nuanced book with some insights that go beyond just the story of three Iranian women. Congratulations on your ability to create this book. Tobias

Sister Nahid,
I am a 51 year old African American woman and I just finished reading Persian Girls a few minutes ago. I felt compelled to send a note of gratitude to you for sharing your life in print. I truly appreciate and celebrate the diversity of cultures in the world today. In my quest for understanding and knowledge, I have taken a journey through many novels from a variety of writers including Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and many other genres. It has expanded my horizons and left me with a sense of closeness with the characters represented. At the end of each book, I always find a little part of myself in the characters.
My heart goes out for Pari and the pain she experienced without being with the man she loved, without her precious son and without the opportunity to be free to pursue a career she adored. At the end of the book, you indicated you had tried to find Pari's son. I hope with the greatest of faith that you find him. Since he is never to see his Mother, it would be good for him to learn about the love she had for him and reunite with her family. I hope as Mother Maryam aptly put to you on many occasions, that it is your destiny to find him.
I am sure you receive hundreds and maybe thousands of emails so I do not expect you to respond to mine. However, I hope that you provide updates on your web site on your family and yourself. I now have to purchase your novels. Please consider me as one of your sisters in spirit. I live in the Chicago area, if you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me. I will meet you at my favorite restaurant on Michigan Ave and treat you to a good meal with great conversation.
Yours truly, Angela

Dear Nahid, Thank you for your writing! I loved hearing your stories about writing and how your love reading. Willa

Dear Mrs Rachlin,
i've just finished 'Persian Girls' in Polish. I couldn't stop: from first to last page in some hours. Amazing. Thank you for sharing this story.
Karolina
Dear Karolina, thanks for your nice comment. I didn't know it's already in print in Polish. I thought it would be a few months later.

Nahid: I just finished Persian Girls. I felt as if you had personally invited me into your life and your culture. Thank you for the journey. I look forward to meeting you at Grub Street's Market and the Muse Conference.
Blessings, Rudy WG
Dear Rudy, I look forward to meeting you. Nahid

Dear Mrs. Rachlin, I read your novel with a lot of interest. Thank you very much for sharing us your story. My question is, is Persian Girls also available in Farsi? That would be nice.... An Irani gilfriend of me can't read your novel in Dutch or in English yet...Yours sincerely, Angelique Rheden in the Netherlands
Thanks for your interest. It isn't available in Farsi, unfortunately. Nahid

Dear Mrs. Rachlin, I read your book, Persian Girls and it found a place in my heart and has remained there. I was able to get my book club to read your story and will be discussing it this week. We all teach in a private school in Knoxville. I wish you were nearby so that we could talk to you face to face about your family, culture, and life journey. As Tennesseeans, we are perceived at times to be a bit close-minded. Stories such as yours help us to open our hearts and minds to others whose lives seem so different. Thank you for for sharing your story and helping to connect our worlds. As teachers, we will do our best to help our students experience this connection, too.
May you be blessed with good health and much happiness.
Most Sincerely,
Beth

Dear Ms. Rachlin,
I'm Ruzbeh, a Ph.D. student in English literature in UPM Malaysia. Your great achievements make me really impressed. Here in Malaysia most of Eastern English literature students such as Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and even Malaysian present their dissertations on Literature in English. I mean that they work on the novels, plays, and poems written in English by their own writers. So, it has been a big question for me why we, Iranian, don't have literature in English? and even decided to write an article about the "The Absence of Persian Literature in English". When I saw your works I got really happy. However still I have the same feeling about our literature. I feel that there is a big gap here. I want to ask you about it and even if you agree we can conduct an article about the realated subject.Please let me know about your idea.
Regards, Ruzbeh Babaei


Hi Nahid,
I picked up your book from the library this Sunday. I did not know what to expect. I just wanted to learn more about Iran. But right there on the first page. I connected with you. My mum packed me off and gave me away at the age of 5 to my eldest sister. I was the 12th of her kids. She always said...she is your mother. My sister unlike Maryam had hard time taking care of me and her own children. She did not treat me well. I grew up with a lot of pain and a good dose of low-self esteem. Reading through your book, I wanted to see how you dealt with the feelings inside you. I connected. You write and in that you have a place to heal. I write too. And through it I have forgiven my mum and dad and I have grown in confidence. I also want to write a memoir.
Thank you so much for sharing.
I have a blog where I talk about self-esteem in girls. I would like to interview you. If you are busy, I would like to review your book and in it I would love you to offer a paragraph or so of advice on what you can tell small girls.
It was nice meeting you and your beloved sister in the book.
G

Dear Nahid,
I loved "Persian Girls". My ex-husband is from Isfahan, and I related to so much you described. I have to know - have you heard from your nephew? Sara

Dear Nahid-
I wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading your book Persian Girls and I hope to read more of your books. I found your book very moving and couldn't put it down. I especially liked the portrayal of the sisters and how you conveyed so much of the culture of Iran and the difficulties you faced. You showed great courage and love in your words.
Best wishes, Lena

Dear Ms. Nahid Rachlin,
I am currently reading your book Persian Girls. I am immersed in the culture of Tehran and recalling stories my grandfather told me that are similar. He was a judge in Tehran during the Shah and I want to gather his stories and the stories of my father too. I also want to go to Iran. I hope I can share their stories well. You have inspired me.
Michelle


Dear Ms. Rachlin,
Thank you for sharing your time with us at dinner. Your reading of Persian Girls will be with us for a long time. Gratefully yours, Andrew Alexander, Architect and MFA student, WCSU, Danbury,CT.

Dear Andrew, great hearing from you. I really enjoyed sharing a dinner with you and exchanging ideas, etc. Good luck with your writing. Nahid

One of my favorite quotes: "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars" An ancient Persian proverb
— Nahid Rachlin

Nahid: I enjoyed your story Bijan. Your themes of maternal and cultural dislocation are, as always, very powerful. It seemed to me, that Bijan
was almost in a trance state upon his return to Iran seeking a unity and wholeness that continue to elude him. He strives for the lost union and then abruptly comes alive to the reality of his life in America. There seems to be no convincing answer to his eternal division. In some ways, I can't help think that your theme mirrors the universal wish to return to early emotional states of union that are only granted to us temporarily and provisionally. Of course, your radical experiences of being given up by your mother, torn out of the arms of your aunt, and living in the American diaspora magnify these human themes and put them in stark relief. But, the fact that all of us, even those without these exact traumas, know something of these emotional yearnings make the plight of your characters immediately accessible. Roberta


Dear Nahid,
A month ago we were given an assignment to read a book centering on social justice themes. When I first heard about the project, I wasn’t excited or really into the idea; that is, until my teacher read an exert of your memoir. So, I ran over to the piles of different books, stacked on the desk, chose yours, and began reading.

I was immediately captured at the beginning of the story by your relationship with Maryam. I, too, was raised only by my mother, so I relate to your closeness and feelings toward her.

While reading the story, so many things stood out to me. I can’t believe how much control a man in Iran has over everything - and everyone. Wow. When I reached the part of how your dad just took you during school, my heart really went out to you and Maryam. I could never imagine how that must of felt, yet alone what was running through your mind. I just couldn’ believe that was even able to happen.

This is when I couldn’t really put your book down.

I was so fascinated throughout the story by your relationships with your siblings and how each one differed. One thing that stood out to me the most was, why you’re father took you in the first place. Did you ever really get and explanation as to why that happened? I loved and admired your relationship with Pari, and how she really made you where you are today.

Did your opinion on America change when you and Pari became close? I’m really interested on what Iranians beliefs of Americans are now, besides the” gas guzzling” feen aspect. I really didn’t know how Iranians felt towards American’s and still am a little wishy washy with what they feel but I do believe your book helped me understand that not everyone hates us. Also, since your father was so against America, why do you think it is he let you start college here? I also admire your choice to come to America, and leave everything else behind. That must of took a lot of strength. What to you was the hardest part about coming to America? What was your favorite and least favorite thing once you came?

I do really like how you ended up marrying someone who wasn’t from your religion. Were you worried at all about what anyone else felt back home, like Maryam? Were your worried once she met your husband? Sorry for bombarding your with all these questions, I really hope you reply. Thank you so much for writing an amazing story.
Victoria
Hi, I have just finished your marvelous book Persian Girls! I loved it!Congratulations!!!I got curious about your marriage. You don't give details on the book. I'm a brazilian teacher (Marketing & Communication subjects). My father is Croatian and mum has Italian origin. Hugs,
Cristiane Zovin

I just finished persian girls..I can see myself in your sister Pari...thanks for your great memoir..
shahd..KSA

Dear Mrs.Rachlin,

My name is Nicole, i am a 10th grade honor student. I am currently in the process of writing my English term paper, and your novel "Married to a Stranger" is the starting point of my research. For a portion of my paper i must discuss the author of my novel and their inspiration or reason for writing the book. I have searched online for interviews of you talking about this book but i haven't had any luck. So my question is why did you choose to write this book? Also why did you choose to name the woman that Javad cheats with Pari? Which i read somewhere was the name of your sister. I really enjoyed your book, and cried a lot when Javad cheated on Minou:'( I knew he was going to but i was hoping he would choose not to. I understand that life cannot always have a happy ending but i like to always try and see the good in everyone. So if you could please respond to this and help me Finnish my paper it would be very appreciated. Thank you so much for your time, i hope you receive this comment and get back to me. Have a good night.
Sincerely, Nicole

Dear Nahid,
I just finished reading "Persian Girls" and found it fascinating. I'm intrigued by Middle Eastern culture especially as it affects women. I was rooting for you to convince your father to let you study in the U.S. but I could feel your lonliness and culture shock in the Midwest. The story of Pari is so tragic. I hope you finally connect with your nephew Bijan so you can tell him how much his mother longed to be with him. I look forward to reading one of your other books.

Dear Mrs. Rachlin, Bijan is very sweet and apparanly true to life. kinda reminds me of Americans' easy going life, and Iranians who take themselvs so serious!!! A combination of both! But, I kinda think, Bijan might change his mind the day after!!! I enjoyed it. Thanks Mrs. Rachlin.

Dear Nahid--I LOVE your short story, Bijan, in Guernica. Your writing is always so beautiful. It's so easy to step into the world you describe... you have such a gift for picking just the right details... Thanks! I enjoyed it so much and can't wait to read more of your new work... Lisa

Dear Nahid, Bijan is a compelling story, and I was immediately absorbed. I felt all Bijan's indecisiveness with him, all his pain, all his desire to be home with his mother and his changed culture. Beautiful. A good window in on the current Iran. Amy

Dear Nahid,
If I hadn't known ahead of time that you will survive your difficult time growing up and then in your early years in the U.S., I would have found, as I read the book, my anxiety for you unbearable. PERSIAN GIRLS is a memoir that reads like the best novels. It is full of drama, hardship and finally triumph. It's an unstoppable read, truly riveting. Thanks for sharing your life story. JB

Dear Nahid, PERSIAN GIRLS is a beautiful, evocative memoir told with tremendous feeling and emotion. You transported me to each time and place in your life and I almost felt that I was sitting on your shoulders. I have about 30 more pages to read, and am doing so ever so slowly because I don't want the story to end. I thank you for sharing your story. This is a lovely, moving book. Sarah

dear Nahid ...
its more than a year that i've listened to Selected shorts and continue the adventures with this great program. I've listened to your "Strangers in house" more and more and i've felt your sensations in words and words of this great short story. I just wanted to thank you and inform you that I had great times feeling and knowing these characters and places in this story. thank you.
your sincerely
Mojtaba

Hi Nahid, I just read your book you wrote about the two girls from Persia, Persian Girls. What a story! I empathize with all the things you have seen .. respect! I'm looking for more books from you, hopefully translated into Dutch. Thanks! It gave me more insight about life in your country. With all due respect! Maybe I travel there once to go! Greetings Amy (Netherlands)

Hi Nahid, I just read your book you wrote about the two girls from Persia, Persian Girls. What a story! I empathize with all the things you have seen .. respect! I'm looking for more books from you, hopefully translated into Dutch. Thanks! It gave me more insight about life in your country. With all due respect! Maybe I travel there once to go! Greetings Amy (Netherlands)

Hello Nahid, I'm a believer in fate and I was just meant to be attracted to your book. I don't know if I'll be able to come to the Book Signing on 9/26th, but if I do get there you'll recognize me as the person who's book looks so beat up from carrying it with me everywhere until I finished it. :) I'm happy to read here that Bijan did find you. Now maybe he can be your inspiration for your next book, by telling his story maybe you can help him and more of course. Thank you for sharing your story and I will read more of your books soon.
Emily Pereira (NJ)PS Even the kids refer to your book as "Mommy's purple book" because they have seen it around the house & out with me so much. hahaha.

Dear dear khanum Nahid joon,
I read Persian Girls and I must say that I couldnt stop crying during reading it. Im from Afghanistan and the women there have gone through hell (still go) just like Iranians. I love the way you wrote the deatils about yours and others experiences..I wish there was no ending in reading the Persian Girls. Well, I promised myself to read all your books! Im still wondering if Bijan, Pari's son, has contacted you.
Mahfaq bashid,
with love,M

Dear Nahid,
Almost a week ago, I went home and my sister came to me saying “you must read this book! It is going to help you writing your own...I have been reading it since morning and i just finished it...I couldn’t help myself from crying...it is amazing. I took the book and after reading the first few pages and getting hooked, i understood what my sister said and felt. I am talking about “Persian Girls. It is a very-well written book. I loved your style of writing and the rich details that made me feel as if i was there living, watching, and feeling what was going around you. Your experiences and feelings as they were presented in your book are very similar to mine! I love reading and writing. I am going to get your other books to make sure not to miss anything. I wish you and your family more success and above all I wish you true peace.
All the love, Julia,

hi nahid
i love you

Hello Nahid,
I had to write and tell you how much I'm enjoying your book Persian Girls: A Memoir. I'm not done with it quite yet, but I like your writing style, and am very surprised that you had limited English when you came to the U.S. I find your story both interesting and educational. I also find it inspirational regarding the cultural differences you faced, and how you overcame the isolated feeling you had. I plan to read your other book Foreigner in the future.
Best Regards,
Dolly

Dear Ms. Rachlin,
Through your book you have given us a window on your life as well as Iranian culture. Culture gives us the structure we need to deal with life’s everyday problems. I believe cultural change is quite often a chaotic, sometimes violent process in which power- seeking people exploit legitimate yearning for reform for their own, and sometimes quite different political advantage. You and your family have had to endure stresses of political and cultural change. You personally combine uncommon kindness and sensitivity with a great strength of will. Maybe it’s true that adversity builds strength of character. Thank you for writing such a fine book.
Richard

Dear Nahid Joon
(I say Nahid joon because as I read your memoir I feel like i know you as much as I know any of my aunt or uncles; as you know it is a costume in Iran to call every family friend mostly aunt and uncle)
I have been reading your books one after another, and have to admit after the Persian Girls I closed the book with tears in my eyes. I left Iran 7 years ago to go to graduate school here and hasn't been able to go back for a visit yet, due to the hardship of visa and the risk that I might not be able to come back... recently lost the dearest person in my life back in Iran and can't explain how I felt connected and defined in your words and within your life-story... just wanted to thank you for such an amazing work and wished I could thank you in person... Looking forward to meeting you in person one day
Sincerely
Golsa

April 5, 2011.
Salaam Nahid
I just finished reading "Persian Girls". I bought your book, out of curiosity, from the local bookstore in Putrajaya, Malaysia. I'm currently doing my PhD in English Literature and I have been studying memoirs written by Malaysian women.Most of my classmates are from Iran. I have been listening to their stories about Iranian people, culture, food and history over a period of about three years. I have even picked up words and phrases in Persian and use them as often as I can whenever I'm with my Iranian friends. Your book was hard to put down as every page was intriguing and enabled me to feel the pulse of Iranian life, especially those of Iranian women. Thank you for your beautifully written book. Haslina
Malaysia.

Dear Ms. Rachlin, We are a group of students that are doing a seminar on your book Persian Girls. Our goal of the seminar is to convince our audience that they also need to read your book. We truly enjoyed your book and are just wondering what your thoughts were about your upbringing and what impacted you the most. Are there any major facts about it that we must not leave out?
-Thanks for your time. Rachel

Nahid Rachlin March 23 at 9:21am
Dear Rachel, Thank you so much for writing to me and your wonderful feedback on my memoir and also thanks for encouraging others to read it. Well, any new idea I can add is: all the pain and tension I lived with as I was growing up and the tragedy of what happened to Pari, have had the benefit of making me a writer.
In my urgency to give shape to events that were painful, I have found peace within myself. I am also happy that what I write reaches people and perhaps help them achieve understanding of themselves, that help them take the right paths for themselves.

Dear Nahid,
I recommended your book, Persian Girls, to my book club after my American husband read it and strongly recommended it. I stopped reading the various books by Iranian women since many of them are simply self-aggrandizing. Although your story is against the Moslem backdrop, I am sure you realize it is the same even if you are raised as a Christian woman. I am an Iranian Christian woman and found that your experience in every way resonated with me and my experience, both growing up in Iran, and then coming to US for College. Thanks for a truly wonderful book! I will now look forward to reading the other books you have written. Marya

Dear Nahid
I just finished reading your book "Persian Girls" - what an amazing memoir...I could not put it down for a minute. Your writing has so much heart in it and I think that is what attracted me to finish this book so quickly. You write with such deep feelings when you spoke of Pari - it really brought tears to my eyes to hear her story and I am so sorry for your great loss. I hope one day you with have the chance to meet Bijan and share your feelings with each other, I think that would be an incredible healing process for the both of you. Do you have any plans to come to Vancouver, BC in Canada in the future? I would love to meet you...Thank you for sharing your story. You are a brave soul. May peace be with you.
Ritu

Hello
i am a lady 30 years old from qatar i really like your book Persian grils. i read it with arabic translation in the end i cry alot i feel every thing you wrote i search for your name i found this email just want to thank you for this book its the best book i ever read. thanks alot. i hope your life is full of happyness also your daughter.
best wishes, FROM ALANOUD in QATAR

Dear Ms Rachlin,
I am an avid reader and I have literally hunted every book store in my city. I am desperately craving to read your books and especially - Married to Stranger. I live in Delhi (India). I am just hoping that may be you could help me find a bookstore that would carry your books.
Thanks,
Nidhi
Dear Nidhi, Thanks for your interest. I'm not familiar with bookstores in your area. But you can obtain all my books from Amazon. Do you have access to Amazon? If not, maybe a bookstore near you can order the books for you. Best wishes, Nahid

Miss Nahid,
I'm Father Peter, I am from Jordan, I am a priest
I just finished reading your book Persian Girls , I bought your book from the Airport of Beirut in my return to Amman, and I do not know about you before even your books, I wanted just to buy any books to read. Truly your book touched me in the heart and soul, but at the same time your personal experience has been a powerful example to live life with joy and hope and love. I'm sorry what happened to your sister (Pari).I would like to ask you if your book (FOREIGNER), translated in other languages like Italian or French? or any of you anothers books?
thank you very much. God bless you and your family.

Hello, I just finished reading your EXCELLENT book Persian Girls! I read it in two days, I could not put it down. I enjoyed it very much and also recommend it to everyone I know.
Congratulations. Gonzales

Dear Ms. Rachlin:
I just finished reading Persian Girls and I enjoyed it so much. At times I felt I was there in Iran smelling the rose water, walking along the river and going into the bookstore. And when you were taken away from Maryam, my heart broke. I have known depression and so related to Pari and her plight. You are indeed a strong woman to have handled the trials in your life and yet overcome them and through your writing to inspire others. I admire your ability to learn and write so well in English. Learning a second language can be difficult and to become as fluent as you have is a real achievement. Thank you for writing Persian Girls. Sincerely, Dorene

Mrs Rachlin,
I just finished your book, Persian Girls, last night. I found it in a discount bin at a book store and since I love true stories, I had to get it. As I read it, I could see the beauty, the terror, and the pride of your country, at the same time I could feel the shadow looming over your family. I understand where the women were coming from with the double standards, that was okay for a men wasn't for a women, because of my family. I look forward to reading your other books in the future.

I just finished this wonderful book which I had randomly found at the book store of my public library. I just want to thank you for writing such a touching, informative and empowering memoir.
Your new fan, Quynn Ton

Salaam Khanoum Rachlin,
I am currently reading Persian Girls for the third or fourth time, and I am moved every time I read it. Coming from a Bangladeshi American Muslim Christian background, I can empathize with you in many respects and struggles, and I am especially moved by Pari, as many of my own family members have become victim to the same fate, although a bit less dramatic, as your own sister. I was wanting to know if you would ever be coming back to UT, and if so, when? I would really like to meet you and talk to you and attend one of your readings and lectures. Also, I was wanting to know if up to this point, you know what happened to Pari's beloved son Bijan? I hope this email reaches you in good spirits and good health. I look forward to hearing from you.
Khoda Hafez, Carmen


Mrs Rachlin, I've just read Persian girls in Dutch and I was deeply moved by the it. I wonder if Maryam and Mohtaram are still alive and if so how old they are now.
Greetings from Belgium. Ludgard

Dear Mrs Nahid,

i don't know if you are going to read this letter or not but i am really happy that i have got your e-mail and i saw many photoes of you on the net. I finished reading "Persian Girls" yesterday night and to say the truth,you took me to your world,to Iran,to USA,to your family house, to Mariam and Mohtaram.I saw Bari and Manija. You are a great writer and this is a great story.is it a real one really? it is a great pleasure for me to be one of your friends. i didn't sleep yesterday because i was thinking about this story and the people who were talking about them. Do you speak arabic? do you still looking for Bari's son or he is not real?i wish i can meet you and sit with you. looking forward to hear from you.
Yara Jarkas
Dubai,UAE

Dear Nahid Salam,
I read your book Persian Girls in English. Is this book traslated in farsi ? I like to know if you have been able to contact Bijan Pari's Son? I think about him and pray for a very happy life for him. I left Iran years ago to get my education in US. I am always concern about women of Iran like you except I don't have your talents. I visit Iran whenever I can and try to stay in touch with my roots in terms of a persian woman who has come a long way. I know I am
lucky to live here in some aspects and I hope I can take an advatage of it. I admire you that you have lived here for so long and you have not forgotten your origin. I love reading more of your books and recommending to my friends. Thank you for being a role model and I hope I will meet you in person. Sincerely,
Manzar

Nahid,
Got hooked by "Persian Girls" and couldn't put it down. Have to know...have you found Bijan? Internet? Facebook?
Carmen
Dear Carmen, thanks. Yes, I have found him!

Dear Ms. Rachlin,
I read you book with much interest. I couldn't stop reading, it all felt so close and it is written so good. You are a strong woman which had done many things all alone.
Unfortunately our library hasn't much of your books so I only can read a few of them.
Wish you the best. Kind Regards, Shakti. (the Netherlands).

Dear Shakti, Thank you so much for writing to me. I'm so happy you liked it. Persian Girls in the only one among my books that has been translated into Dutch. The others are only available in English. Best wishes, Nahid

Hello Mrs.Rachlin
I'm 19 years old and i come from Almelo, the Netherlands. Last week I read your book Two girls from Persia ( in dutch ofcourse) and it was a nice story. The thing I liked the most is that it's not a fiction story, you also write all the sad things that happend but unfortunately that’s life and that’s what keep people reading because they feel connected to the persons in the book. I want to tell you that i'm really impressed about your style of writing and i hope you understand my email because I think my english is not very good. I want to read more books from you but I can't find it in our library. I hope i find one of you're books soon, this is the first time I want to read a book off the same writer. And I want to tell you I have much respect for you how you lived your life in Iran and telling about it in your books.
Yours Sincerely, Sandra

Dear Nahid, I just finished reading Persian Girls two days ago. It is amazing; very honest and touching. I am from Saudi Arabia, so I know what you are talking about. I saw alot of myself in Nahid (the character). I've not published my poetry, because I couldn't. The last poem I wrote was three years ago, interestingly its title was "Who Picks Me Up." I am addictied to movies and literature, this is how I came across your amazing novel. I was an unwanted child too, the 6th daughter for my mother and the 10th for my father. My MA project was about Saudi women in american contemporary fiction... and yes, my family doesnt know about my topic, Thank God im the only person speaking English in my family. I would like to thank you for the beautiful moments your novel gave to me-- for some reason, a woman feels less sad when she knows that "she is not the only one"!!!

Dear Nahid,
I just finished reading "Persian Girls" and found it fascinating. I'm intrigued by Middle Eastern culture especially as it affects women. I was rooting for you to convince your father to let you study in the U.S. but I could feel your lonliness and culture shock in the Midwest. The story of Pari is so tragic. I hope you finally connect with your nephew Bijan so you can tell him how much his mother longed to be with him. I look forward to reading one of your other books.

Dear Ms. Rachlin:
I just finished reading Persian Girls and I enjoyed it so much. At times I felt I was there in Iran smelling the rose water, walking along the river and going into the bookstore. And when you were taken away from Maryam, my heart broke. I have known depression and so related to Pari and her plight. You are indeed a strong woman to have handled the trials in your life and yet overcome them and through your writing to inspire others. I admire your ability to learn and write so well in English. Learning a second language can be difficult and to become as fluent as you have is a real achievement. Thank you for writing Persian Girls. Sincerely, Dorene

hi nahid
im shather alotaibi i'm a 17 year old girl from kuwait and i really rally love all of your books you're just great i'm so sorry for what happened to pari she's my favorite character ever -
my email is : sowhat010@windowslive.com
please write me back i rally want to share some thoughts with you
ps: say hi to laila for me

Salaam Nahid
i'm Fatima from Saudi Arabia , I speak English a little but I want to say some words for you ' I read PERSIAN GIRLS in Arabic, I liked it so much, you are a good writer masha'a Allah, I Cried when I finished it , I don't have sisters and I was affected by your relationship with your sister Pari, I prayed for you a long time, and I wish for you and Layla a good life
Can you understand or speak Arabic ?
Thank you very much my dear. Fatima

Nahid-
I was so moved by your book. I just finished it and wonder if you have ever tracked down Bijan or found out anything more about the death of Pari?
Your writing style is magnificent and the way you build narrative with such powerful reflections and imagery has inspired me in writing my novel.
Manijeh

Dear Nahid Rachlin
I couldn't put PERSIAN GIRLS down and was up well into 2:30 reading it. The book was refreshing in its depth, honesty and for all that you shared. Ehsan

Dear Nahid,
Almost two weeks ago, I went home after work and my sister Salma came to me saying “you must read this book! It is going to help you writing your own...I have been reading it since morning and i just finished it...I couldn’t help myself from crying...it is amazing. I took the book and after reading the first few pages and getting hooked, i understood what my sister said and felt. I am talking about “Persian Girls,” which i read in Arabic. It is a very-well written book. I loved your style of writing and the rich details that made me feel as if i was there living, watching, and feeling what was going around you. Your experiences and feelings as they were presented in your book are very similar to mine! I love reading and writing. I am going to get your books in English to make sure not to miss anything in translation. I wish you and your family more success and above all I wish you true peace.
All the love, Julia,

Dear Ms. Rachlin:
Last month, I received your invitation to the reading of your short story at Getty Museum. Despite living in San Diego, I decided to attend, hoping to finally meet you! I had brought my 1978 copy of The Foreigner for your autograph and thought you's get a kick out of seeing my then toddler's doodles on the first page, for which she was duly punished! (She is now a lawyer.)A writer myself, I enjoy receiving occasional notes from you. Hope we shall meet someday. Please let me know if/when you are in the area.
Best, always, Zohreh Ghahremani (Zoe)

Dear Zoe, I was doing a lot of traveling around that time, so I decided to skip going to LA. Maybe we'll get a chance to meet at another occasion. Would have been fun to see my first novel with your daughter's doodles on it! Good luck with your own writing. Nahid

Hi, Mrs. Nahid Rachlin,
I just wanted to express my gratitude for writing such an impressive autobiography, Persian Girls. I am an Iranian girl living in Dubai, and I read the copy of your book translated into Arabic. I just finished it. It took me a very short time to finish it since I had hard time leaving the characters of the book. I'm a fan of your work now for sure, and looking foreward to read more of them in the future.
gratefully yours,
Zeinab

Nahid,
Thank you for sharing your story.
i just read your book the "persian girls".
i am just sad for what happened to your sister Pari. indeed, she is beautiful and talented.
and you are so brave enough to reach your dream.
God bless you.
Yours truly,
chien que
La Trinidad, Benguet
Philippines

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I live in Forney TX, a small community 25 miles east of Dallas. I bought your book at Borders as a Christmas gift for my sister in law, but I decided to keep it for myself and instead gave her something else. Your story is such an inspiration. I learned so much about your culture and government. It made me think of an Iranian friend whom I met while working at a hospital in Tulsa during the late 1980s She was going thru medical school and family practice residency at the same hospital.. As a divorcee, with a small son to care for, and her parents living in Tehran, you know she went thru some agony worrying about them and missing them. We talked often, but only at work because her schedule was pretty demanding. Afsar was an amazing person and I have fond memories of her.
Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you happiness and peace in your life.
Sincerely, Gloria

Dear Nahid,
I read your book the persian girls.
I agree with you that the Muslim woman should have the freedom to decide her future and choose her life mate. But, if you feel sorry for not being connected to your home-land, that is because you chose not to. To be part of Iran, you have to accept the Islamic Laws. Accepting boys to kiss and touch you when you were young are clear signs that you do NOT want to be part of Iran...

Dear Nahid,
I have just finished reading your book in Arabic. I found it very interesting. Few comments:
*The title in Arabic is misleading it translate to "THE Iranian girls".
*I would keep the titles of key figures, such as Grand Ayatollah Khomaini.
*I am not sure I would mention the relation between the mother and the jewlery shop keeper.

Regards,
Ramzy AlZayer

My name is Soroush Fetkovich and would love to talk to you if it's possible . Just finished reading your book , i couldn't put it down , it took me back to all those memories of past I also struggle with my past , in some ways similar to my life only mine much more dramatic and heart breaking , my dream always been to writ a book about my life ,just don't want any one to know who i am , what i have gone through during my childhood in Iran and after ward a broad . unlike you i am not a professional writer even though have always carried a very strong passion for it and used to write my journal every day and then it stopped. With kind regards, Soroush

I just finished reading "Persian Girls" and I have to say that at least for me, you brought Pari back to life. I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I especially liked the excerpt from the story by Sadegh Hedayat about the stray dog. It touched me. Thank you for writing the book!
JoAnne taciturn_jo@yahoo.com
Dear JoAnne, Thank you so much for writing to me and your comments about PERSIAN GIRLS. I love hearing from my readers. I am curious about how you came across my memoir and where you live. All the best, Nahid
I thoroughly enjoyed Persion Girls. It is my wish that you will find Bijan. I will pass this book on to my granddaughter, niece, and sister as I know they will enjoy it as much i did. thank you for sharing your remarkable life story. glocrawley@yahoo.com

I just finished reading Persian Girls. I found one thing very disturbing; that is not to be able to hear about and from one's family for such long stretches of time that one hears about one's father's death a month or so after, about one's sister's death similarly, not when it happened, and same way about one's grandmother's death. It is sad, but it is true for many who come from regions that have any kind of social-political turmoil going on.
--Lalita Hogan

Dear Mrs. Rachlin,
I have finished your book entitled "Persian Girls", which I absolutely loved. I think you are a very talented writer, and the book was addictive! I fell in love with all your family, especially with Pari. She was so full of life and a fighter until the very end. I wish she was able to reunite with Bijan before her passing. I hope you find Bijan soon and you can tell him about Pari. I love the way you depict sisterhood in your book, it is such a strong bond! (I have a sister as well, and I can relate a lot to your story in that sense, she is younger than myself and sometimes I am very overprotective with her, we have a very special friendship).
Also, your book made me aware of how technology has changed our life. If back in the day there had been also access to internet and cellphones I think your story would have been different, and you would have been able to keep in touch with all your relatives.
But the character I loved more was yours. I am in a difficult period of my life. I have to decide what to do, either staying in my country without much chances of studying what I want to do, or going abroad, leaving my family behind and study what I want to study.
Sometimes I feel I won't make it, and feel scared. But reading about you and how you achieved your dream to be a writer against all odds made me be sure about my choice. I think you are a role-model for young people, especially women.
I like the way you talk about the role of women in Iran, and how you depict Iran's traditional families. I think is a topic that is very left out in other memoirs, which are normally written by people raised up in totally secular families.
I enjoyed your book very much and I will re-read it soon. Thanks for sharing your story with us, it was very inspiring and educational, and very well-written too. Renata

Dear Ms. Rachlin, I’m not sure why I am taking your time, except to say, I admire greatly your courage, the fact that you were able to commit your words to the page and the struggles that you must have endured to bring it to light for the rest of us. I feel as if I am an imposter of your teenage self, scuffing your shoes against each other, willing one foot or the other to move forward, into your father’s drawing room to meet the author. But, I am not a teenager anymore, although the heart that greeted me as a child and a teenager is still here within me, not knocking so much anymore, but resonating, in a song, a reminder, that I was a child, as all children are, pure and full of love. I read it overnight and will read it yet again.
Namaste

Dear Ms. Rachlin,
I have long been interested in the plight (or otherwise) of Middle Eastern women, so I have read Marjane Satrapi, Jean Sassoon, the Prisoner of Tehran, and others. I just finished Persian Girls, and what separates your writing from the others is the warmth that you put into the words. I felt that I could easily relate to you, even though my background and history are so different from yours. Like others, I was struck by your bravery, and I hope that you find Bijan. Maybe you have already found him? I found Pari's husband's behavior suspicious at the end of the book, but not enough to allow me to form a firm opinion of what really happened. Do you still feel like a foreigner in the US? I really responded to your feelings of being an outsider, when you first came to the US. I am American, but have been living in Canada and England for the last 10 years - I have only just now moved back, to NYC. It feels very different to me now. Anyway, thank you for sharing your story with us, and when you find Bijan, post news of it! We would like to know!
Lisa (leptotila@gmail.com)

Dear Nahid
I just want to tell you that your book(Persian Girls) touch my soul. I can't say that i'm your fan, because I just read that book(in Brazil your books are a bit expensive for a student who doesn't work), but I really admire your memoir. I konw that you may not belive, but, sometimes, I felt the pain of Pari(and yours) in my skin, in my blood, and in my heart...I'm young and I want to take you like my example of life. I am currentl

SHORT STORY
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
SHORT STORIES

Interviewed by Jessica Blau, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties

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