My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora

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(as of Jan 15,2020 03:30:55 UTC – Details)

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.

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“The essays in this moving and impressive collection capture the many facets of the Iranian diasporic experience with an honesty that feels as if the writers have been treasuring these stories for years and are now giving us the welcome gift of beautiful and surprising release. My Shadow is My Skin captures not just the immense loss and longing that can accompany immigration and cultural displacement but also the unexpected empowerment that hyphenation and living between worlds can build. Bold, expansive, and wise –this collection will break your heart and fill you with immense hope. ” (Marjan Kamali, author of The Stationery Shop)

“Emotionally raw, honest, often funny and heartbreaking, these are stories that will linger with you long after you’ve read them. My Shadow Is My Skin is a testament to what binds us as Iranian-Americans, but also a poignant reminder that every one of our experiences are distinctly personal.” (Sara Saedi, author of the memoir Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card)

“This collection includes writings by first-generation Iranian immigrants to the United States, second-generation immigrants, or diasporic Iranians, several of whom have one American parent, as well as entries by American spouses of Iranian immigrants. It thus allows for a more expansive and inclusive understanding of what it means to be Iranian American or a diasporic Iranian living in the United States. This diversity of voices is one of the strengths of the book; the time for this more generous and capacious understanding of diasporic Iranian identity is long overdue and most certainly welcome.” (Nima Naghibi, author of Women Write Iran: Nostalgia and Human Rights from the Diaspora)

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