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Nahid Rachlin books in order

Nahid Rachlin is an Iranian-American short story writer and novelist.

Born in Abadan, Iran, she emigrated to the US at the age of 17.

The holder of a BA from Lindenwood College, Nahid did the Columbia University Writing Program on a Doubleday-columbia Fellowship, before attending Stanford University where she did the Writing Program on a Wallace Stegner Fellowship.

Nahid has received a number of grants and awards, including The Bennet Cerf Award, Pen Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, with her works translated into Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Dutch, German, Czech, Arabic, and Persian.

She has taught Creative Writing At Barnard College, Yale University and at several Writer's Conferences, as the likes of the Paris Writers Conference, Geneva Writers Conference, and Yale Writers Conference.

Nahid, who married psychology professor Howard Rachlin in 1969, gives readings and talks at bookstores, high schools, colleges and libraries.

More about Nahid Rachlin

Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Memoirs, Non-fiction

Born: 1950

United States


Non Series

  • Foreigner (1978)
  • Married to a Stranger (1983)
  • The Heart's Desire (1995)
  • Jumping Over Fire (2006)


  1. Veils (1992)


  1. Persian Girls (2006)


  1. Crowd of Sorrows (2015)

Detailed book overview

Non Series


Feri, an Iranian woman in her thirties, left Iran to study and work in the United States, where she married an American and settled down. Now, after fourteen years, she has returned to Iran to visit her family. Unexpectedly, she finds herself strangely pulled by the old culture, where she will confront as never before the question of where she belongs and how she wants to live.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 1978
ISBN: 978-0393319088
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Married to a Stranger

When Minou Hakini marries a man of her own choosing—an intellectual and a radical—and moves to Abadan, a thriving oil town near the Iraqi border, she imagines her life will be adventurous and liberating. Before long, however, she becomes aware of her husband's suspicious liaisons and dangerous activities. Her struggle to forge her own identity as a woman in contemporary Iran is charged with passion, anger, and finally a need to escape.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 1983
ISBN: 978-0872862760
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
The Heart's Desire

Jennifer Sahary, an American artist, and her husband Karim, a professor and Iranian immigrant, make an extended visit to Teheran shortly after the Iran-Iraq War, encountering unforeseen dangers and sexual temptations that change the course of their lives.

When their young son is taken by his grandmother to the holy city of Qom without Jennifer’s knowledge, she sets out to find him, learning much about Iran and about herself along the way. And as Karim renews contact with his family and surveys the misery and needs of his war-torn country, he begins to question where he can best achieve his ideals.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-0872863057
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Jumping Over Fire

An Iranian family embroiled in Islamic revolution, the hostage crisis, incest and exile in America.

Forced to flee the country with their parents as Khomeini rises to power, Nora and Jahan Ellahi rise to the challenge of anti-Iranian hostility in America. Breaking free from their intense attachment to each other, they explore new relationships to forge independent lives. The romantic artist Jahan ultimately returns to join the army to fight Iraq, while ambitious Nora finds a life of greater opportunity and personal freedom in the U.S.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0872864528
Publisher: City Lights Publishers



The ten stories in Veils take place in present-day Iran or in the United States where Iranian immigrants face alien ways. Teheran’s ancient Ghanat Abad Avenue, with its labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys, loosely links the stories into a single narrative: some residents leave as soon as they can, others can live nowhere else. The men and women in these spare and sensuous narratives who are caught in the confusing whirl of changing cultures sometimes meet with failure but more often transcend difficult circumstances to gain deeper self-knowledge.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0872862678
Publisher: City Lights Publishers


Persian Girls

For many years, heartache prevented Nahid Rachlin from turning her sharp novelist's eye inward: to tell the story of how her own life diverged from that of her closest confidante and beloved sister, Pari. 

Growing up in Iran, both refused to accept traditional Muslim mores, and dreamed of careers in literature and on the stage. Their lives changed abruptly when Pari was coerced by their father into marrying a wealthy and cruel suitor. Nahid narrowly avoided a similar fate, and instead negotiated with him to pursue her studies in America.

When Nahid received the unsettling and mysterious news that Pari had died after falling down a flight of stairs, she traveled back to Iran--now under the Islamic regime--to find out what happened to her truest friend, confront her past, and evaluate what the future holds for the heartbroken in a tale of crushing sorrow, sisterhood, and ultimately, hope.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-1585426232
Publisher: TarcherPerigee


Crowd of Sorrows

Zora, just separated from her American husband, with a six-year old daughter, Anar, has had a highly unsettled life so far. After her marriage falls apart, she moves with Anar to a row-house in Cambridge, MA, that shares a backyard with several young families. She hopes to develop friendships with the other mothers, but soon finds that this is not a big happy family she has moved into. 

Anxiety over the children and threats to their wellbeing hang in the air; marital problems surface among the couples. In spite of the transparency of the tenants’ activities, as seen through the sliding glass doors opening on the common backyard, hidden and ambiguous aspects permeate the air. 

One day Anar disappears; with this shock and its resolution Zora comes to realize that her search for a place in the world might not yet be over.

Author: Nahid Rachlin
First Release: 2015
Ebook: B00YV4MO3C