Anita Amirrezvani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in more than 25 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, Equal of the Sun, was published by Scribner in June 2012, and selected for 2012 Great Group Reads list.
Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian-American Writers, an anthology co-edited by Anita and Persis Karim, will appear in Spring, 2013. Anita teaches at the California College of the Arts and at Sonoma State University.
Anita Amirrezvani in her own words: After my parents separated when I was two, I was raised by my mother in San Francisco. When I was thirteen, I began going to Iran on my own and spending time with my father’s side of the family. In San Francisco, my family was an intimate group that consisted of me, my mother and my aunt; in Tehran, a family dinner party was like a town hall meeting, huge and festive. I had eleven cousins and before long, two little brothers.
My father took me on a trip to Isfahan when I was fourteen, even though he was busy building his business and didn’t have much time for leisure. Because I loved art and architecture, he agreed to take me for two days. I remember being mesmerized by the great square of Isfahan and by the painted plasterwork on the staircase of our hotel, a former caravansary.
I decided to take a year off between high school and college and spend it in Iran. That year, 1978, turned out to be the fateful year leading to the Islamic Revolution. That summer, we heard gunfire and watched the sky turn black with smoke from fires. On my seventeenth birthday, the city was under an evening curfew. We went out for lunch and had cake at home. Less than ten days later, my father and stepmother decided the situation was unsafe. We packed up my brothers, who were two and four, and left for what turned out to be a long time.
The following fall, I started at Vassar College. I attended for two and a half years and then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where I majored in English. I loved school. I have since received an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.
Read more about her books here. Equal of the Sun was selected as a 2012 Great Group Reads.