POSTPONED: Katherine Whitney with Contributors - My Shadow is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora (Corte Madera Store)

Friday, March 27, 2020 - 7:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Featuring readings from contributors Jasmin Darznik, Farnaz Fatemi, Daniel Rafinejad, Layla Maryam Razavi, and Dena Rod

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 illuminates a community that rarely gets to tell its own story.

Katherine Whitney (ed.) was drawn into the Iranian diaspora by marriage and first wrote about the subject in the anthology Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves. She graduated from Duke University, has a masters in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University, and lives with her Iranian husband in Berkeley, California. Photo credit Katherine Briccetti Photography (

Presenting contributors include:

Jasmin Darznik’s debut novel Song of a Captive Bird was a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” book and a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Jasmin is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her books have been published in seventeen countries and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among others. Her next book, a historical novel set in 1920s San Francisco, is forthcoming in 2021. She is a professor of English and creative writing at California College of the Arts. 
Farnaz Fatemi’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Grist, Catamaran Literary Reader, Tahoma Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Delaware Poetry Review, the anthologies Halal If You Hear Me and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies from Djerassi, PLAYA, Marble House Project, I-Park Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center and has been honored by the International Literary Awards (Center for Women Writers), Poets on the Verge (Litquake SF), Best of the Net Nonfiction, and Pushcart. She taught writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1997 to 2018.
Daniel Rafinejad was born to Iranian parents in the San Francisco Bay Area. He taught Persian language and literature both at the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard University before devoting himself to full-time writing and translating. His work has appeared in LongreadsThe Huffington PostEncyclopaedia IranicaThe International Encyclopaedia for the Middle Ages, as well as in the anthologies Pearls of Persia: The Philosophical Poetry of Nasir Khusraw and My Shadow is My Skin: Writings from the Iranian Diaspora. This winter, Danny was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, where he worked on a forthcoming collection of essays/memoir. He recently completed his first play.
  Layla Maryam Razavi is a civil rights advocate who specializes in promoting inclusion and equity for all immigrants and crafting legislation that upholds and strengthens due process, including the right to counsel for people in detention. She holds a JD from the University of California, Davis School of Law and previously served as advocacy and policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She was born and raised in San Diego and resides in San Francisco. Her parents were studying abroad during the revolution.
Dena Rod is the assistant creative nonfiction editor for Homology Lit, and the former managing editor of Argot Magazine, a Webby-nominated queer nonprofit with a mission to highlight and sponsor LGBTQIAA+ perspectives and art across the globe. Dena works to illuminate their diasporic experiences of  Iranoan-American heritage and queer  dentity, combating negative stereotypes of their intersecting identities in the mainstream media. Their poetry and creative nonfiction essays have appeared in Endangered Species, Enduring Values: An Anthology of San Francisco Area Writers and Artists of Color, Forum Literary Magazine, Beyond Bloodlines, Argot Magazine, and Imagoes: A Queer Anthology. They were selected for RADAR Productions’ Show Us Your Spines Residency and for the Kearny Street Workshop Interdisciplinary Writers Lab. Dena received their MA in English literature from San Francisco State University and is currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area with their wife and cat.
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora Cover Image
By Katherine Whitney (Editor), Leila Emery (Editor)
ISBN: 9781477320273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Texas Press - March 16th, 2020

The Iranian revolution of 1979 launched a vast, global diaspora, with many Iranians establishing new lives in the United States.