OUT Magazine profiled Abdi Nazemian as someone you "Need To Know." To read their interview with Abdi, click here or read below. For Abdi Nazemian, being included in the Debut LGBT Fiction category at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, held at Cooper Union earlier this month, was reason enough to jet across the country. But, surprising himself the literary newcomer took home the Lammy for The Walk-In Closet, a novel about the gay Iranian-American experience. We spoke with Nazemian about the book, his win, and what he hopes will come from it. Out: Could you talk a little bit about your background? Abdi Nazemian: I was born in Iran. My family left when I was two years old, around the time of the Revolution , and we moved around a lot—we were in France for five years, then Canada for three, and then settled in the New York area.
A Tale of Two Children: My Path to Fatherhood, and the Psychic Who Saw It Before I Did by Abdi NazemianDespite keeping a copy of "The Power of Now" by my bed for years, I have always been more into the future than the present. Maybe that's why I love the idea of psychics. Years ago, I was at lunch with a friend when she mentioned in passing that her assistant's mother, who was a psychic, was coming to stay with her for the weekend. Without missing a beat, I made an appointment to see this California Cassandra. I had gone to my share of psychics in the past, but I never took them very seriously. I didn't really believe the guy who told me I was a rock star in my last life (though I did check the date of Elvis and Jim Morrison's deaths just in case).
Abdi Nazemian reads from his novel at New York's legendary Strand Bookstore, and chats with reporter Stacey Vanek Smith, senior reporter for Marketplace. Watch it here. From the Strand: "Abdi Nazemian's debut novel, The Walk-In Closet, has already garnered praise from authors such as Chaz Bono, Busy Philipps and Kelly Oxford, among many others. It's the story of Kara Walker, a young woman who feels her life in LA is painfully ordinary-especially compared to that of her friend, Bobby Ebadi--whose Iranian-American family is brilliant, charming and above all extraordinary. Kara is happy to be drawn into the life of the Ebadi family, even letting them believe she's Bobby's girlfriend. But sooner or later her little white lie will have to end, and the results may be unexpected for everyone. Abdi's book is a funny, raucous and moving story of growing up amid the meeting of cultures."
The 27th Lambda Literary Awards were presented in New York on June 1, 2015, celebrating the best gay, lesbian and transgender books of the year. A parade of actors, celebrities and activists presented the awards, which were hosted by comedian Kate Clinton. Liz Smith presented John Waters with Lambda's Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature. Gloria Steinem presented Rita Mae Brown with the Pioneer Award. Abdi Nazemian's The Walk-In Closet won the award for "Best Debut" novel. For The Los Angeles Times coverage of the awards, click here. For Out Magazine's coverage of the awards, click here. For The Guardian's coverage of the awards, click here.