Prairie Lights Online | Dina Nayeri & Jeff Sharlet Virtual Event with John Kenyon

Dina Nayeri and Jeff Sharlett

Please join us with Iowa City Book Festival Director John Kenyon on Zoom with authors Dina Nayeri and Jeff Sharlet, who will talk about their new books, Who Gets Believed and The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War. Both authors will read selections from their books and talk about the political and cultural issues raised by both books in a discussion led by Kenyon. Register HERE.

Dina Nayeri will read from Who Gets Believed?: When the Truth Isn't Enough. "Dina Nayeri's mesmerizing, genre-bending book braids together narratives of asylum seekers, exonerated felons, and religious converts to ask: Who Gets Believed? In an era of 'fake news' and tribalism, her question is urgent. In lyrical prose, Nayeri dives into court cases, draws from history and literature, and shares her own family's journey as refugees from Iran. The result is both heartbreaking and hopeful. Reading this book will upend your preconceptions about who is worthy of belief, as writing it did for Nayeri herself." --Amanda Frost

Dina Nayeri was born during the Iranian revolution and lived as a refugee for two years before being granted asylum in the United States. She is the author of the novel A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, and The Ungrateful Refugee, winner of the Geschwister Scholl Preis and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Kirkus Prize, and Elle Grand Prix des Lectrices. A winner of the 2018 UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize, Nayeri has won a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the O. Henry Prize, and Best American Short Stories, and was a finalist for the 2017 Rome Prize. She has a BA from Princeton, and masters degrees from Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop (where she was a Teaching Writing Fellow). She is an autumn 2021 Fellow at the American Library in Paris and has just joined the faculty at University of St Andrews.

Jeff Sharlet will read from The Undertow. An unmatched guide to the religious dimensions of American politics, Jeff Sharlet journeys into corners of our national psyche where others fear to tread. The Undertow is both inquiry and meditation, an attempt to understand how, over the last decade, reaction has morphed into delusion, social division into distrust, distrust into paranoia, and hatred into fantasies—sometimes realities—of violence. "Riveting, insightful. … Weaving religion, hate, hope, and fear into stories that catch us unaware, Jeff Sharlet confronts us with the realities of the shifting American psyche—a must-read in order to understand the conflicting voices and tensions in America today." — Anthea Butler

Jeff Sharlet is the New York Times best-selling author or editor of eight books, including The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, adapted into a Netflix documentary series, and This Brilliant Darkness. His reporting on LGBTIQ+ rights around the world has received the National Magazine Award, the Molly Ivins Prize, and Outright International's Outspoken Award. His writing and photography have appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair, for which he is a contributing editor; the New York Times Magazine; GQ; Esquire; Harper's; and VQR, for which he is an editor at large. He is the Frederick Sessions Beebe '35 Professor in the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where he lives in the woods with many animals.

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