Shahrnush Parsipur’s writing career began in 1974 with the publication of her first novel, The Dog and the Long Winter. She's been in trouble with Iranian authorities ever since. Today, with more than twenty novels, short story collections, and translations under her belt, Parsipur lives in California. While she has always written in Persian and her fiction has always been about Iran, Parsipur does not consider herself to be a writer in exile.
President Barack Obama and his national security team are no doubt making final preparations for the upcoming trip to Israel. Obama already began to lay the groundwork for his trip by sending messages to the Israeli leadership who remain fanatically wed to coercing the United States to go to war with Iran. And it seems the coercion is working. The president's message had nothing to do with peace. "All options are on the table," he professed to an Israeli news outlet. Of course these seemingly threatening statements drummed of another looming battle.
by Ananya Vajpeyi
From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals who Remade Asia
by Pankaj Mishra (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)
When we get a whiff of inauthenticity, we are made aware of just what we expect from nonfiction. So says award-winning author Jonathan Weiner. He sat on a panel alongside the thoughtful and amusing Amitava Kumar and Carmela Ciuraru. Brooklyn Book Festival's panel, Unreliable Subjects, focused on the complexity of dealing with subjects (that is, people) who are inherently unreliable. What are the dangers and ramifications of writing nonfiction that is based on the testimony of someone who is shady, or a fringe character?
In a 2010 roundtable discussion here at the Mantle, I wrote about the responsibilities of a writer in a time or place of conflict. While my opinions on the subject continue to inform my writing and the creative decisions I make, two encounters with nonfiction writing classes during the 2011 Writers in Motion study tour of America occasion a coda of sorts.
I made my way to my aisle seat in a row of three and groaned inwardly. The center seat, which had been empty when I checked online the night before, was now occupied by a tall young man, stocky enough to necessitate raising the armrest that separated my space from his. I reassured myself that this wasn’t going to be a problem—this was the short leg of my trip, from DC to Minneapolis, from which there would be a long haul to Tokyo before the final push to Manila. I could handle a few crowded hours.
When I first received the invitation to participate in Writers in Motion 2011, a project of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in another IWP undertaking.