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Susanne Pari biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Susanne Pari

Susanne Pari

How to pronounce Susanne Pari: PAIR-ee

Susanne Pari Biography

Susanne Pari is an Iranian American novelist, journalist, essayist, and book reviewer. Born in New Jersey to an Iranian father and an American mother, she grew up both in the United States and Iran until the 1979 Islamic Revolution forced her family into permanent exile. She is the author of two novels – In the Time of Our History and The Fortune Catcher – and her non-fiction writing has appeared in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, and Medium. A former Program Director for Book Expo, she is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, the Author's Guild, the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, and the Castro Writers' Cooperative, she serves on the board of the Lakota Children's Enrichment Writing Project and is an alumna of the Hedgebrook Writing Residency. She writes occasionally for the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies blog and divides her time between Northern California and New York.

Susanne Pari's website

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Interview

Susanne Pari talks about her 2023 novel, In the Time of Our History, which explores the tensions between tradition and identity, duty and desire, womanhood and freedom, as the rebellious American-born daughter of Iranian immigrants grapples with her sister's tragic death in 1990s New Jersey and San Francisco

You were raised in a large Iranian-American family. How similar are the Jahanis to your extended family?

The people in my family aren't as interesting as the Jahanis, at least not that I know of. (Sorry, Family.) That's not to say that my fiction isn't influenced by real life people, events, or observations. But those are only the first bits and pieces that, over a very long and often frustrating and sometimes fun period of musing, daydreaming, spacing out, and drafting finally become the story's characters. For me, it's the characters who create and move the story, so I have to know them far better than I could ever know a person in real life. But I have to admit that I do engage in some minor thefts of reality. For example, the Jahani patriarch's office is an exact replica of my own father's; the decor was so perfectly indicative of the mid-century vibe that I couldn't resist. But the father who sits behind that massive desk is nothing like my straight-laced and playful dad.

Motherhood, in its many manifestations, is a theme in this novel. For some characters, motherhood doesn't require that they bear children, only that they love and nurture them. Why did you decide to explore this idea?

I grew up, both in the US and...

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Books by this Author

Books by Susanne Pari at BookBrowse
In the Time of Our History jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Susanne Pari but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Hala Alyan

    Hala Alyan

    Hala Alyan is the author of the novel Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award, and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize. Her latest novel, The Arsonists' City, was a finalist for... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    In the Time of Our History

    Try:
    The Arsonists' City
    by Hala Alyan

  • Jonathan Escoffery

    Jonathan Escoffery

    Jonathan Escoffery is the recipient of the 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction. His fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    In the Time of Our History

    Try:
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery

We recommend 4 similar authors

View all 4 Read-Alikes

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