Several months ago I was asked to donate an artwork for an appreciation gift to Azar Nafisi, one of the visiting authors at The 2013 Festival of the Literary Arts in Winter Park, Florida. Winter With the Writers | Rollins College I love culture and literary adventures, so I agreed to give an art work. I also read two of her books.
Azar Nafisi is an Iranian Academic and best selling author who emigrated to the USA from Iran in 1997. ”Reading Lolita in Tehran” journals how Azar boldly inspired her devoted students in her home. Together she and her young friends secretly explored the forbidden western classic writings including: Austin, Bronte, James and Nabokov.
”Things I have been Silent About” is Azar’s story of growing up in Iran against a background of Iran’s political Revolution. Her mother had a term in Parliament. Her father, once the Mayor of Tehran, was jailed when the next regime took over.
“In one way or another we articulate what has happened to us through the kind of people we become.” ~ Azar Nafisi.
Her quote reminded me of my father’s quote: “What you are, you teach!” ~ Herman Betschen.
Both of our fathers told us stories while growing up and they were life time learners. Azar’s Father, while in jail, studied French and German, read classic literature and history, wrote poetry and painted.
I felt connected to Azar Nafisi and posted a comment on her web site:Azar Nafisi, Offical Website of the Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. I wrote how I enjoyed her literary works and how we both appreciated our fathers. I did not mention that she would be receiving one of my art works.
On Thursday, February 28, 2013, I attended the afternoon session with the intern writers at Rollins College. Azar Nafisi was a charming and witty mentor to the students. She was delighted with the framed giclee print “When the People Care.”
It turns out that she had visited my web site after I wrote on her blog. “When the People Care,” was on my home page at that time and Azar told me how much she had admired that piece. She gave me a warm hug and signed her books in Persian for me. The Evening Session at Tiedtke Concert Hall, was totally inspiring. Thanks to Randi Cruz, The Rollins Intern who arranged for the art donation, meeting Azar Nafisi was a memorable adventure.