Nilofar Shidmehr & Annahid Dashtgard
After announcing this evening as one with noted Iranian Canadian fiction writer and poet Nilofar Shidmehr for her book of stories, Divided Loyalties, her excellent Toronto publisher, House of Anansi, arranged another author to be here with her here tonight. Coming from Toronto is Annahid Dashtgard, who has worked in anti-corporate globalization campaigns, made documentaries, and worked on political campaigns, now here with Breaking the Ocean: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Reconciliation, a memoir that begins where she does, in Iran, then moving to Canada and life in North America.
“Annahid Dashtgard’s Breaking the Ocean is a deeply intimate and provocative memoir of the explorations of a young immigrant mixed-race woman trying to find her way to belonging through social change. A profound and important read at this time of the intersections of our struggles. We need more voices like hers.” — Judy Rebick.
For Nilofar Shidmehr, who is here from her Vancouver home, it is these stories. “Nilofar Shidmehr’s collection of short stories is accurately titled. The divided loyalties that torment these Persian women, whether they are still living in Iran or have emigrated to Canada, is her painful subject matter, and Shidmehr examines every nuance of it in fiction that is fierce, meticulously observed, beautifully crafted, and authoritative. A stunning work.” — Keith Maillard.
“Each story in Divided Loyalties is like a new window into Iran’s complex post-revolutionary history, its hardships as well as its beauties, its griefs as well its unwavering will to survive. A touching, fascinating read.” — Sahar Delijani. “Shidmehr narrates the lives of her characters with as much fluid intensity and grace as they are lived.” — Musharraf Ali Farooqi.