How to Write Iranian-America, or The Last Essay

Porochista Khakpour reflects on her desire to write — at first about anything other than Iranian-America. Deeply conflicted about speaking from her perspective as an Iranian-American, she says, “Remind yourself that when the performance is honest two things happen: The essay will feel like it’s killing you and the ending will not be what you thought it might be. Learn to respect more than resent those parallel planes of living and the rendering of living.”

Source: Catapult
Published: May 18, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,944 words)

Why this Persian New Year is Different

A personal essay by Iranian-born novelist Porochista Khakpour about her apprehension and lack of excitement about Nowruz, the Persian New Year, at a time when it feels unsafe to be of Muslim heritage in America.

Source: CNN
Published: Mar 20, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,862 words)

Portrait of the Artist as a Debut Novelist

An essay by Iranian-American novelist Porochista Khakpour (excerpted from Scratch: Writers, Money and the Art of Making a Living, edited by Manjula Martin) about the challenges of surviving financially in her early years as a writer. Her struggle was compounded by being a writer of color with an unusual name, from a country whose president was at odds with the U.S., and having to deal with clueless Americans attending her readings.

Source: LitHub
Published: Jan 27, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,488 words)