February 2021
Editor’s Note

English and the Iranian Exodus

For those in the Iranian diaspora, 9/11 seemed to compound our pre-existing trauma and our desire to express it…in English. As this issue reflects, we’ve moved on, in various ways.

Review of Books

Ottessa Moshfegh: Laughter and the Dark

In her five books, her personal essays, and her many interviews, the “unofficial laureate of lockdown” has conjured humor in the unlikeliest places.

The Last Days of Westwood

A photoessay on the boulevard that for more than two decades was the Downtown for the Iranian émigré community in Los Angeles.

Bad Grads: Educated in America

Bad Grads: Educated in America

Many Iranian officials who’ve studied in the United States have done anything but live up to the human rights–respecting reputation of a Western education.

Beirut port

A Damascene’s Ode to Beirut

My mother once told me that I was conceived in a hotel room in Beirut. “I still remember. It was off of Hamra,” she said light-heartedly, after we had enjoyed dinner and some wine.