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
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.
Despite all the salacious stories included in Ava Gardner: The Secret Confessions, my favorite story from the book is fairly chaste, revealing nothing about Mickey Rooney’s libido or Frank Sinatra’s penis. The story involves an aged Gardner meeting Dick Snyder, the CEO of Simon & Schuster, the publishing company planning on publishing her memoirs. “Didn’t anyone tell you?” she objects. “I stopped auditioning a long time ago, honey.” Desperate to live up to her image as “the world’s most beautiful animal,” Gardner called in her favorite cinematographer Jack Cardiff, who rearranged the lamps in her living room, placed a key light above her chair, and placed a shadow over the half of her face that had been frozen by a recent stroke. The story reveals the crafty ambition and aching vulnerability behind Gardner’s tell-it-like-it-is persona. Perhaps the reason the story resonated