Kirkus gave Abdi's YA debut novel THE AUTHENTICS a starred review. Read it here, or below: Fifteen-year-old Daria is determined to fight against her mother’s party-planning for the extravagant Sweet 16 she doesn’t want, but the battle she is not prepared for comes when she discovers family secrets that turn her world upside down. Daria is proud of her Iranian culture but wants no part of the posh Beverly Hills Persian community. She finds solace with the Authentics, her small, diverse group of friends who have proven to her that they are real, and she nurses resentment toward the Nose Jobs, a group of pretentious Persian princesses led by her former best friend, Heidi. When Daria begins researching her family history for a school project, she makes some unexpected discoveries that challenge her senses of herself and her family. She loses trust in her parents and turns to her friends, but
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.
Last week, I had my first live interview, with Ahmed Shihab-Eldin at Huffington Post Live. I was wildly nervous about it, but when my time was up, I didn't want the conversation to end. I haven't watched it since I can't deal with seeing myself on film, but I remember a spirited discussion, and a lovely surprise appearance by Busy Philipps. Check it out here!
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
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,