Award-winning Iranian-American novelist Porochista Khakpour and four seniors in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University will read from their work on Friday, September 19 at Labyrinth Books. The reading is the first in The Emerging Writers Reading Series, which showcases senior thesis students of the Program in Creative Writing with established writers as special guests. Featuring student writers Joan Bedinger, Ben Goldman, Nonny Okwelogu, and Chester Dubov, the reading begins at 6:00 p.m. at the bookstore at 122 Nassau Street and is free and open to the public.
Khakpour’s debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) was named a New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Chicago Tribune “Fall’s Best,” and received a 2007 California Book Award. She has also penned the introduction to a new English edition of what is considered one of the greatest modern Iranian novels, Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl (2010). Her second novel, The Last Illusion, published earlier this year, was named one of Flavorwire’s “15 Most Anticipated Books of 2014,” The Millions’ “Most Anticipated” in its “The Great 2014 Book Review,” and the Huffington Post’s “30 Books You NEED to Read in 2014.”
She has been awarded fellowships from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Northwestern University, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ucross Foundation, Djerassi, and Yaddo. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she received a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing. Her essays, features, reviews, cover stories, and columns have appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Slate, Salon, Poets and Writers, The Rumpus, Newyorker.com, and elsewhere.
Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. She has taught creative writing and literature at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Hofstra University, Fordham University, Bucknell University, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Fairfield University’s M.F.A. program, the University of Leipzig (where she was a Picador Guest Professor), the Bruce High Quality Foundation, and the Gotham Writers Workshop. She is currently Writer in Residence at Bard College and Visiting Writer at Wesleyan University. She lives in New York City.
The four seniors, who are pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing in addition to their major areas of study, will read from their senior thesis projects. Each is currently working on a novel, screenplay, or collection of short stories as part of a creative thesis for their certificate with a member of the Creative Writing faculty including Jeffrey Eugenides, A.M. Homes, Chang-rae Lee, and Joyce Carol Oates.
The series, hosted by the seniors in the Program, is intended to present a public showcase for the work of their peers and to invite professional writers by whom the students have been inspired.