Iran-born writer Donia Bijan was first known to book readers as the author of the delightful food memoir, Maman’s Homesick Pie. Prior to that, she was known to Bay Area diners for her culinary artistry, drawing on French, Persian, and U.S. cuisines as an award-winning chef at The Sherman House, and then her own restaurant, L’Amie Donia. She is here tonight with a poignant, engaging debut novel, The Last Days of Café Leila (Algonquin).
“Within the captivating setting of a postrevolutionary Iran, Donia Bijan brings to life a family torn apart by loss, tragedy, and distance, whose abiding connections refuse to die. A sensitively conceived, beautifully written story.” —Shilpi Somaya Gowda.
“A glorious treat awaits you at the literary table of Donia Bijan. This debut novel has it all, a compelling story of family, faith and love told with a longing heart and an appetite for life beyond the small Iranian village where Noor's roots are planted and her wings were born. This intergenerational story, of a mother and her daughter, dramatized in the moment where it lives is a feast for the reader’s senses and soul. What a stunning novel! Inspiring, evocative and emotionally satisfying.” —Adriana Trigiani.