Khakpour at the 2014 Texas Book Festival
January 17, 1978
Porochista Khakpour (born 1978) is an Iranian American novelist, essayist and writer.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Khakpour was raised in South Pasadena, California and the Los Angeles area, graduating from South Pasadena High School. Khakpour attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York for her BA, majoring in Creative Writing and Literature. She received her MA from Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. After receiving her MA, she was a Lecturer and an Eliot Coleman fellow at Johns Hopkins University.
Khakpour was an arts and entertainment journalist early in her career. She is a contributor of personal essays to The New York Times about her experiences as Iranian-American and Islamic popular culture, and also writes about popular culture and music in the United States.
Her first novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects was published in September 2007. The lyrical dark comedy, centered on the aftermath of 9/11 and Iranian fathers and sons in Los Angeles and New York, was a New York Times Editor's Choice and was included on the Chicago Tribune's 2007 "Fall's Best" list. It won the 77th annual California Book Award prize in First Fiction. She has been longlisted for the 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize.
Khakpour's second novel, The Last Illusion, was released on May 13, 2014.
Khakpour currently teaches at Columbia University in New York as an Adjunct Faculty Member in the MFA program, the written arts department at Bard College, and at Fordham University as an Adjunct Faculty member.
Khakpour has also taught at Hofstra University as an Adjunct Professor and at the College of Santa Fe (now the Santa Fe University of Art and Design) as an Assistant Professor. She was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University, and the Picador Guest Professor of Literature at the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. She has also been a Visiting Writer at Wesleyan University.
Awards and accolades
Khakpour is a recipient of the 2012 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Prose). Khakpour has also received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Northwestern University, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ucross Foundation, Yaddo and Djerassi. Her work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Khakpour's first novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove/Atlantic 2007) also won the 77th annual California Book Award "First Fiction" prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor's Choice and included on the Chicago Tribune's 2007 "Fall's Best" list. The novel was also shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize and longlisted for the 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize.
- Porochista Khakpour, Biography, http://porochistakhakpour.com/biography/
- Porochista Khakpour, Los Angeles Review of Books, https://lareviewofbooks.org/author/porochista-khakpour
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