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Iranian-American author reads from acclaimed debut novel March 3


Anita Amirrezvani reads from her work March 3.

  • February 16, 2011

Author Anita Amirrezvani will read from her novel, “The Blood of Flowers,” a story of a young girl’s journey from innocence to adulthood in 17th century Persia, when she appears on the Cal Sate East Bay campus March 3.

The free Department of English Distinguished Writers Series program will be presented at 7 p.m. in the University Library Biella Room, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. It is cosponsored by Friends of History in conjunction with Women’s History Month. A book-signing will follow.

"’The Blood of Flowers’ represents the best aspects of the historical novel genre: Anita Amirezzvani steeps the reader in the lore and culture of 17th-century Persia while being cognizant of our contemporary concerns about women's work, women's power, women's identity," said Susan Gubernat, associate professor of English and series director.

Amirrezvani was inspired to write this, her first novel, by a Persian carpet her father gave her when she was a teenager. She imagined the life of the carpet maker and crafted the tale of a young woman in 17th-century Iran. The protagonist has a passion for rug making when she grows up in her small village, but when her father suddenly dies, she and her mother move to the city to live with a wealthy relative who works in the Shah's carpet-making workshop.

Amirrezvani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. She has visited Iran many times and has been steeped in tales of Iranian life and history from an early age. 

The author has worked as an arts journalist and dance critic in San Francisco, interviewing international stars such as Yoko Ono and Mark Morris and reviewing major art events. She began writing “Flowers” nine years ago. Since then, she has been selected twice as writer-in-residence at the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers and made three research trips to Iran.

Ann Oldenburg in "USA Today" wrote of the book, "Like one of the dazzling, meticulously tied rugs in the Iranian bazaar, ‘The Blood of Flowers,’ is filled with intricate designs, vivid colors and sparkling gems." Writing in the "St. Louis Dispatch," Charles Gershman observed, "Amirrezvani's prose is earthy and humble, clean and consistent . . . she is a stunning new writer with a gift for transcendent storytelling."

The novel has been longlisted for the Orange Prize in Fiction, shortlisted for the Boeke Prize and is an Editor’s Choice.

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor in advance at (510) 885-3151, if accommodation is needed.

Campus parking is $2 per hour at meters, or $10 per day, per vehicle – payable at kiosk machines that take dollars and quarters. 

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