LIVE ON ZOOM: POROCHISTA KHAKPOUR reads from her new essay collection BROWN ALBUM with MYRIAM GURBA

Friday, May 22nd at 6:30pm PST on Zoom: Porochista Khakpour will discuss her new essay collection BROWN ALBUM with Myriam Gurba. 

To get the Meeting ID and password, please register on Eventbrite. The event is free to attend. After you register, you will receive an email with login instructions. 

We hope to see you there!

Please note: this event will be recorded and released as an episode of the Skylight Books Podcast. Listen & subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or Podbean.

Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity (Vintage)

Novelist 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 Tehrangeles, an enclave of wealthy 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: other people writing and thinking at the fringes. 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 and with new material included. 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. Her second novel The Last Illusion was a 2014 "Best Book of the Year" according to NPR, Kirkus Reviews, BuzzFeed, PopMatters, Electric Literature, and many more. 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.

Myriam Gurba is a writer, a spoken-word artist, and a visual artist. She has written for Time, KCET, and The Rumpus, among others. Her debut book, Dahlia Season: Stories and a Novella, won The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Her collection of short stories, Painting Their Portraits in Winter, explores Mexican stories and traditions through a feminist lens. Her latest book, Mean, is part memoir, part true-crime and combines humor and honesty to describe Myriam’s coming-of-age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana in Santa Maria, California. Mean was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Nonfiction and a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction.

Event date: 
Friday, May 22, 2020 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525564713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 19th, 2020

Sick: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062428738
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Harper Perennial - June 5th, 2018

Sons and Other Flammable Objects Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802143860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 1st, 2008

Mean Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566894913
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - November 7th, 2017

Painting Their Portraits in Winter: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933149905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Manic D Press - May 19th, 2015

Dahlia Season: Stories & a Novella (Future Tense) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933149165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Manic D Press - May 1st, 2007