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