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.
This piece appears in full at Hollywood Journal.
My first Hollywood job was not actually in Hollywood, but in New York. I was in college; a freshman whose cubicle-sized dorm was covered in wall-to-wall photographs of old movie stars. With black-and-white images of Dietrich, Crawford, Harlow and their fellow goddesses staring down at me, I dreamed of a career in the movies.
Perhaps that’s why I responded to an ad for a job as a locations intern on the set of a movie called The Pallbearer, starring one “Friend” (David Schwimmer) and one relatively unknown actress named Gwyneth Paltrow. I had no idea what a locations intern was, but I knew it would get me into the inner circle of the dream factory. My only previous brush with the film industry came when I was twelve years old and asked to
Step into a world where glamour, money and family honor – no matter the cost – reign supreme in Abdi Nazemian’s THE WALK-IN CLOSET. Fans of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians will love this debut novel from Los Angeles screenwriter Nazemian (The Quiet, Celeste in the City) about two best friends in Los Angeles juggling a fictional relationship and searching for true love. Hilarious, heartbreaking and edgy, with a shocking twist, THE WALK-IN CLOSET provides a glimpse into the lives of the Iranian-American elite.Kara Walker has never found much glamour in her own life, especially not when compared to the life of her best friend Bobby Ebadi. Bobby, along with his sophisticated parents Leila and Hossein, is everything Kara always wanted to be. The trio provides the perfect antidote to what Kara views as the more mundane problems of her girlfriends
As the year comes to a close, countless words will be written about the year’s best records. In an effort not to add to the glut of words, I offer one haiku to each of my ten favorite albums of 2013. If you think I've missed one, please let me know, preferably with a haiku about what makes it special.
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
It can’t be easy
To improve on perfection
But she has done it
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS
Push the Sky Away
Thirty-five years in
Instead of disappointing
Still bringing the dread
This piece first appeared in The Advocate. The first time I ever saw a sign that read “Mommy and Me” was outside a movie theater in Los Feliz, an extremely liberal enclave of extremely liberal Los Angeles. On Wednesday afternoons, this movie theater hosted “Mommy and Me” screenings. I imagined a theater filled with mothers nursing their newborns as they watched the latest art-house film, and as a father-to-be, I immediately felt excluded. Since having my children, I have run into the phrase “Mommy and Me” time and time again. The Pump Station, a Los Angeles destination for all things baby, declares on their website that “the support and friendship of other Moms who will be part of your world for years to come! You can’t put a price on that!” They offer not only a series of “Mommy and
Recently, Lorde became the first woman since 1996 to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart. That’s right, the chart went an astonishing 17 years without a female atop it. Something is very, very wrong here. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the top of the Alternative Songs Chart was home to a brilliant array of female musicians: Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, and Alanis Morissette among them. These women existed alongside pop stars like Madonna and Janet Jackson, carving out successful careers that had little to do with glitz and glamour. We are a long way from 1994, when Tori Amos, Bjork, and PJ Harvey appeared on the cover of Q Magazine together, each of them a unique force in the music industry. These days, there seems to be little mainstream interest in the kind of confessional, experimental songwriting that the Toris,
Madonna wants to be taken seriously, people. Like really, really, really seriously. In her new film, which I watched projected onto the wall of the Santa Monica Civic Center, she proclaims her desire to start “a revolution of love.” Over visually stunning imagery of Madonna being imprisoned, we hear her inimitable voice: “I keep telling everyone that I want to start a revolution, but no one is taking me seriously,” she says. “If I had black skin and an Afro, would you take me seriously? If I was an Arab waving a hand grenade, would you take me seriously? If I was wearing combat gear and I had an AK-47 strapped to my back, would you take me seriously?” she asks. And then she adds the film’s best and most self-aware line: “Instead, I’m a woman. I’m blonde. I have tits and ass,