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Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2007, page 53

Waging Peace

Persian Girls Author at New York Public Library

Nahid Rachlin answered audience questions about her newest book, Persian Girls (Staff photo P. Pasquini).

IRAN’S CAPTURE and release of 15 British Royal Navy personnel, the U.N.’s concern over the country’s nuclear program, and President George W. Bush’s statement branding the Islamic Republic a member of a so-called “axis of evil” are the news items Americans associate with Iran from television and newspaper reporting. New Yorkers recently enjoyed the opportunity to hear a different perspective on Iran from Nahid Rachlin, author of Persian Girls. The Iranian novelist read from her newly published memoir and answered audience questions at New York’s Mid-Manhattan Public Library April 4.

Rachlin’s sixth book focuses on her complex family relationships, particularly with a beloved older sister who remained in Iran while the author traveled to the U.S. at 17 to study and embark on a literary career. Covering the time period from the shah’s rule to the present, Rachlin relates her experiences within the context of Iran’s history and current events.

Asked after her reading to describe the younger generation of Iranians, Rachlin replied, “Through their underground life of Internet chat rooms and satellite TV, the new generation is very alert and aware of everything that is going on in other parts of the world. There is much frustration with the government because the economy is very bad, which they feel is due to their country’s isolation,” she concluded.

Elaine Pasquini