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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Author’s travels inspire work

UH alumna Farnoosh Moshiri has lived in Houston for more than 20 years and is the author of several books, including At the Wall of The Almighty and Against Gravity.

"Ever since I was a child I was sure I wanted to be a writer," Moshiri said.

Moshiri left Iran in 1983 after the Islamic revolution when an Islamist movement overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah.

She spent several years in India and Afghanistan as a political refugee in exile and arrived in Houston in 1987.

She said that her travels have influenced her by allowing her to experience firsthand the political situation of different countries. Iran’s social and political issues are also at the core of her writing, she said.

"Social and political issues are, as you know, very important in our part of the world," Moshiri said. "In the work of any writer or any artist they manifest themselves. It’s not a conscious decision, it’s just there."

This spring Moshiri is teaching composition and world literature classes at UHD.

She also participates in many cultural events, including moderating a discussion at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston during the 15th Iranian Film Festival earlier this month.

"I think that I bring myself – who I am. And who I am is where I’m coming from… I’m a teacher and a writer," Moshiri said.

An expatriate of Iran, Moshiri said she does not harbor hostile feelings toward the country.

Moshiri said she doesn’t necessarily approve of the present government in Iran but has a unique understanding of the issue because of the continuing historical conflict in the country since the 1950s.

"People in a country do not forget what others do to them," Moshiri said.

Most people in the U.S. have a limited understanding of the conflict with Iran, she said. In previous interviews she said that there are many ways to become more informed about Iran.

"I’d recommend all the films that are made by Iranian filmmakers," Moshiri said in an interview with Beacon Press. "Many of these movies have won international awards and some are available in video stores. We need to know and acknowledge that Iranian directors made these films under the utmost restrictions and censorship and tried to find alternative ways (like symbolism) to get their messages through."

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