A Conversation Between Azar Nafisi, Achy Obejas, and Michael Reynolds

A panel discussion to launch the Cheuse Center’s five-year anniversary

A Conversation Between Azar Nafisi, Achy Obejas, and Michael Reynolds

Missed the discussion? Watch it below!

On Sunday, September 12 from 5:00pm-6:30pm, please join the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center and Politics and Prose bookstore for a lively conversation on international literature between Azar Nafisi, Achy Obejas, and Michael Reynolds, moderated by Lisa Page. This panel is the first in a series of virtual events throughout the coming year that will celebrate the Cheuse Center’s fifth anniversary. We’re thrilled to begin this fall with an event featuring panelists who embody an important aspect of our mission: to showcase international writers and translators, and to shed light on the questions and issues they probe. To register for this free event, click here.

"This event gets to the heart of our mission," Matthew Davis, the founding director of the Cheuse Center, said while reflecting on this fifth-year launch. "The ability of literature to function as an art form but also serve as a window into other countries, cultures and people. I cannot think of four better thinkers to explore these issues than Azar, Michael, Achy, and Lisa. And I cannot think of a better way to launch us into our fifth year of activities and celebrate what we have accomplished and what is still possible for us as a Center."

Azar Nafisi’s latest book, Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times, is forthcoming in March 2022. HarperCollins, Nafisi’s publisher, describes the book in this way: “Drawing on her experiences as a woman and voracious reader living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, her life as an immigrant in the United States, and her role as literature professor in both countries, [Nafisi] crafts an argument for why, in a genuine democracy, we must engage with the enemy, and how literature can be a vehicle for doing so.”

Photo of middle-eastern woman with chin length curly hair in front of a bookcase

Nafisi is the author of the multi-award-winning New York Times bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, as well as Things I’ve Been Silent About, and The Republic of Imagination. Formerly a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Policy Institute, she has taught at Oxford and several universities in Tehran, and she is currently Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

headshot of hispanic woman with short dark hair on a black background

Achy Obejas is a Cuban-American writer, translator, and activist whose work focusing on personal and national identity has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Fifth Wednesday Journal, TriQuarterly, Another Chicago Magazine and many other publications. Her new poetry collection, Boomerang / Bumerán, is published by Beacon Press.

Headshot of white woman with short blonde hair in front of a yellow wall

Lisa Page is co-editor of We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, LitHub Weekly, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, The Crisis, Playboy, the Washington Post Book World, and more. She is assistant professor of English at the George Washington University and Director of Creative Writing and she previously served as Interim Director of Africana Studies. She is also the former President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and a faculty member of the Yale Writers Workshop, and sits on the board of the Cheuse Center.

Headshot of bald white man wearing black turtleneck and coat in front of a gray wall

Michael Reynolds is the Editor in Chief at Europa Editions. He received the Golden Colophon Award for Superlative Achievement and Leadership in Independent Literary Publishing, awarded by the Community of Literary and Magazine Presses, and was a Epiphany Magazine Honoree for Publishing Excellence. He has served on the jury for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Gutekunst Prize for Young Translators, and the foreign jury of the Strega Prize. He is also an author and a translator whose published translations include three historical mysteries by Carlo Lucarelli, and Viola Di Grado’s prize-winning novel, 70% Acrylic 30% Wool.

We hope you’ll join us on September 12 to hear from this impressive and inspiring panel of writers. To register for the event, click here.