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The Iranian revolution of 1979 launched a vast, global diaspora, with many Iranians establishing new lives in the United States. In the four decades since, the diaspora has expanded to include not only those who emigrated immediately after the revolution but also their American-born children, more recent immigrants, and people who married into Iranian families, all of whom carry their own stories of trauma, triumph, adversity, and belonging that reflect varied and nuanced perspectives on what it means to be Iranian or Iranian American. The essays in My Shadow Is My Skin are these stories. This collection brings together thirty-two authors, both established and emerging, whose writing captures the diversity of Iranian diasporic experiences. Reflecting on the Iranian American experience over the past forty years and shedding new light on themes of identity, duality, and alienation in twenty-first-century America, the authors present personal narratives of immigration, sexuality, marginalization, marriage, and religion that offer an antidote to the news media’s often superficial portrayals of Iran and the people who have a connection to it. My Shadow Is My Skin illiuminates a community that rarely gets to tell its own story.
About the Author
Katherine WhitneyBerkeley, CaliforniaLeila EmeryHolly Springs, North CarolinaKatherine Whitney first wrote on the Iranian diaspora in the anthology Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves. She graduated from Duke University and received an MA in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University. Leila Emery is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Parentheses Journal, and Lines+Stars. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.