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New Fiction by Iranian American Writers
Edited by Anita Amirrezvani and Persis Karim
978-1-55728-995-7 (paper)
978-1-61075-519-1 (ebook)
February 2013


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This groundbreaking anthology brings together twenty-seven authors from a wide range of experiences that offer new perspectives on the Iranian American story. The authors in Tremors represent the maturing voice of Iranian American fiction from the vantage point of those who were born and raised in Iran, as well as those writers who reflect a more distant, but still important, connection to their Iranian heritage. Altogether, these narratives capture the diversity of the Iranian diaspora and complicate the often-narrow view of Iranian culture represented in the media. The stories and novel excerpts explore the deeply human experiences of one of the newest immigrant groups to the United States in its attempts to adjust and assimilate in the face of major historical upheavals such as the 1979 Iranian revolution, the hostage crisis, and the attacks of September 11, 2001. The stories set in Iran testify to the resilience, dignity, and humor of a people rich in history and culture.

Anita Amirrezvani is the author of the novels The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun.

Persis Karim is a poet and editor of Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora and coeditor of A World Between: Poems, Short Stories and Essays by Iranian-Americans.

World Literature Today interview with Anita Amirrezvani and Persis Karim

“Amirrezvani and Karim present a diverse view of the Iranian-American experience through the stories of 27 authors from a variety of backgrounds in this new anthology. Stories set in Iran reflect the nation’s struggles with revolution, protests, and human rights issues, while tales of Iranian immigrants in America depict the challenges of assimilation and generational clashes between traditional and modern values. In Mehdi Tavana Okasi’s “Other Mothers, Other Sons,” a newly immigrated Iranian woman clings to another Iranian family in the neighborhood despite her concerns about their intentions “as if nostalgia for their shared homeland would curb the vices of human nature.” A husband in Porochista Khakpour’s “In the House of Desire, Honey, Marble, and Dreams” forbids his wife from leaving the house in Western clothes, leaving their young daughters confused about their new role as Americans. Back in Iran, Farnoosh Moshiri’s “White Torture” portrays a woman whose child was taken away in the 1979 revolution. During recent riots over corruption, she writes incendiary slogans on paper money, landing her in a brutal Iranian prison. Despite their unique circumstances, the characters of each story demonstrate great resilience and pride in the face of their political and cultural challenges.”
Publishers Weekly, Feb. 2012
“This anthology gives us access to a world that has been largely invisible to Americans, but, more than that, it opens up to us an extraordinary range of voices and talents and makes it clear that as Iranian and American culture come to terms with, and begin to understand, one another, an exciting, high-quality literature is being born.”
Harvard Review

“This marvelous anthology celebrates something far beyond arrival for Iranian-American writing, introducing a chorus of voices with an exceptionally broad range of experience and stylistic mastery. Tremors shakes up any easy assumptions that the reader may hold about Iran, and claims a new territory in the global landscape of literature.”
—Zara Houshm, author of A Mirror Garden

“A stunning and important collection of modern Iranian-American fiction, Tremors is a must read for anyone who seeks to see beyond the headlines. And dare I say, that should be everyone.”
—Melody Moezzi, award-winning author and activist

“Finally, after decades of memoir, a literary collection that brings together Iranian American fiction. An absorbing and compelling anthology that takes readers through a rich imaginative landscape, in which the exploration is beyond one’s identity and into the realm of questioning truths. At times lyrical, haunting, and jarring, here is an offering of voices wherein each is a master of style and prose.”
—Zohra Saed, editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature