About the Author

Dina Nayeri

Dina Nayeri was born in Isfahan, Iran in 1979. She is an Iranian American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Nayeri fled Isfhan in 1988 at the age of 8 with her mother, who was a doctor, and brother, Daniel. The family fled because Nayeri’s mother converted to Christianity and the Islamic Republic threatened her with execution. After fleeing Isfahan, the three of them spent two years as asylum seekers in Dubai and Rome, and later settled in the United States as refugees before gaining citizenship in 1994, when Niloo was fifteen. Throughout the family’s refuge, Nayeri’s father remained in Isfahan, where he still lives. Nayeri is a graduate of Harvard Business school where she earned her MBA and Princeton University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. Nayeri earned a MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Nayeri wrote her semi-autobiographical novel, Refuge: A Novel, in 2017. Nayeri also authored the novel A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea and two articles “The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We have no debt to repay’” and “My Father, in Four Visits Over Thirty Years.” In 2017 she wrote the short story, “A Big True.”

Nayeri’s honors include:

    • 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program: A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea
    • 2015 O. Henry Prize: “A Ride out of Phrao” Alaska Quarterly Review, vol. 30, 2013
    • 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship
    • 2017 Finalist for the Rome Prize
    • 2017 Longlist for The Morning News’ Tournament of Books: Refuge
    • 2018 Best American Short Stories for “A Big True” The Southern Review
    • 2018 Paul Engle Prize Winner



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Sydney Gualtieri ’19

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