Moderated by Julie Scelfo, past Lecture Series presenter and author of The Women Who Made New York, Discourse and Process conversations provide insight into each author’s book and their research and writing process.
Join us as author Porochista Khakpour discusses with journalist Julie Scelfo her poignant collection of essays, chronicling immigrant and Iranian-American life in our contemporary moment.
After her family’s move to Los Angeles after fleeing the Iranian Revolution, novelist Porochista Khakpour navigates conflicting cultures and expectations as an Iranian immigrant in America. Khakpour rebels against the wealthy Tehrangeles culture in LA, moving to the East Coast, where she finds her community: other people writing and thinking at the fringes. After 9/11 and the rise of Donald Trump to U.S. presidency, Khakpour is forced to finally grapple with what it means to be Middle-Eastern and Iranian, an immigrant, and a refugee in our country today. This collection of essays based on ten years of Khakpour’s life is both amusing and enlightening, exploring these complex experiences and emotions.
Porochista Khakpour has been awarded fellowships from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Northwestern University, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ucross Foundation, Djerassi, and Yaddo. Her work has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She is most recently the recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Prose).
Her novels Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove/Atlantic, 2007) and The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014) have been highly regarded in book lists such as the Chicago Tribune, Kirkus, and William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. She was also the guest-editor and curator of Guernica‘s first Iranian-American issue, which came out in November 2011. Her other writing has appeared in or are forthcoming in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Vice, GQ, Elle, and many other magazines and newspapers around the world. She has taught creative writing and literature at various colleges and universities including Bard College, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and more.
Julie Scelfo is a journalist, author and justice advocate who helps people discover the forces that help shape human thinking. Previously, Scelfo was a staff writer for The New York Times, and a Correspondent at Newsweek where she covered breaking news. Scelfo is the author of The Women Who Made New York, a collection of intersectional biographies that reveal how it was women — and not just men — who built one of the world’s greatest cities.
Scelfo earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Media Ecology from New York University. She lives in New York City, is a frequent public speaker and has made numerous appearances on television, radio and podcasts.
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