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Literati Special - Meet The Author - Together Tea by Marjan Kamali

Time: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Playroom

This will be no ordinary Literati meeting. We will be joined by the author, Marjan Kamali.

Come join us in the Playroom as we discuss Marjan’s debut novel Together Tea. Published by EccoBooks/HarperCollins Marjan was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. It has been translated into several languages and was recently adapted for the stage. Marjan graduated from U.C. Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from NYU. Her work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in two anthologies: Tremors and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been. She has written essays for The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Marjan grew up in Turkey, Iran, Germany, Kenya and NYC and has spent her adult life in Switzerland, Australia and the U.S. She taught writing at Boston University and is currently an instructor at GrubStreet. An excerpt from her second novel which appeared in Solstice literary magazine was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. This second novel, The Stationery Shop, will be published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in June 2019.

Here is an intro to Together Tea from Publishers Weekly:

Kamali’s debut, set in the mid-’90s, is the story of Darya and Mina Rezayi, mother and daughter in a family that emigrated to the U.S. from Iran after Mina’s grandmother was killed by an Iraqi bomb. One of three children trying to live up to their parents’ expectations, Mina would rather paint than finish her MBA. But mostly she wishes her mother, a frustrated mathematician, would stop creating spreadsheets of eligible Iranian-American men, who have so far all disappointed her. Darya’s husband embraces the can-do American spirit, but she misses prerevolutionary Iran, with its emphasis on family and tradition, and accompanies Mina on a visit to their homeland. The book’s second part takes place in Tehran, but during the revolution and the early years of the war with Iraq. Kamali’s lyrical writing is particularly vivid here, and warm, as with the many descriptions of tarof, a Persian verbal tradition. Although there are differences in Mina’s and Darya’s American experiences, the author effectively evokes the pull both women feel toward Iran. She creates empathy for a people forced to live one life in public and another privately.