There are two ways to watch the program: in-person at our venue Alphabet City or live-streamed online. Please note the in-house restaurant 40 North is closed on Tuesdays.
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Novelist Porochista Khakpour joins City of Asylum live for a reading and conversation centering her collection of essays Brown Album. From the much-acclaimed novelist and essayist, this beautifully rendered, poignant collection of personal essays chronicles immigrant and Iranian-American life in our contemporary moment.
About the book
Porochista Khakpour’s family moved to Los Angeles after fleeing the Iranian Revolution, giving up their successes only to be greeted by an alienating culture. Growing up as an immigrant in America means that one has to make one’s way through a confusing tangle of conflicting cultures and expectations. And Porochista is pulled between the glitzy culture of the wealthy enclave of Iranians and Persians in LA, her own family’s modest life and culture, and becoming an assimilated American.
Porochista rebels—she bleaches her hair and flees to the East Coast, where she finds her community. But, 9/11 happens and with horror, Porochista watches from her apartment window as the towers fall. Extremism and fear of the Middle East rises in the aftermath and then again with the election of Donald Trump. Porochista is forced to finally grapple with what it means to be Middle-Eastern and Iranian, an immigrant, and a refugee in our country today.
Brown Album is a stirring collection of essays, at times humorous and at times profound, drawn from more than a decade of Porochista’s work. Altogether, it reveals the tolls that immigrant life in this country can take on a person and the joys that life can give.
Porochista Khakpour’s debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, one of the Chicago Tribune‘s Fall’s Best, and the 2007 California Book Award winner in the First Fiction category. Among her many fellowships is a National Endowment for the Arts award. Her nonfiction has appeared in many sections of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Elle, Slate, Salon, and Bookforum, among many others. She has been guest faculty at VCFA and Stonecoast’s MFA programs, as well as Contributing Editor at Evergreen Review. Born in Tehran and raised in the Los Angeles area, Khakpour currently lives in New York City.
Covid-19 policies for indoor programs [at Alphabet City] as of September 1, 2021
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