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mirzadegi@yahoo.com

Shokooh Mirzadegi began her literary works, both as a novelist and a poet, with Ferdowsi magazine in 1969. She soon proved to be a professional journalist too, working for Kayhan daily and Zan e Ruz magazine. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1971.

By profession she was a child psychologist and ran a very successful school, both as a teacher and a manager, for several years in Tehran. She has two daughters from her first marriage.

In 1973, along with several artist and writers, she was arrested and tried for her alleged political activities. She was out of the prison in two years time and was later allowed to publish again. Her first book was a work for children. Then came her memoirs on her trip to Mecca (her first serious attempt on feminist themes), and a collection of plays. She also prepared a few plays for the TV but they were not allowed to go on the air.

In 1976 she was permitted to travel to the West but, before she could settle down in London, she had to rush back to Iran to witness her long-awaited revolution. Once in Iran, she realized that what was happening could not have any resemblance to her expectations and decided to leave the country but was arrested at the Mehrabad airport. She was freed from the Islamic regime's jail after two months mostly thanks to the interference of United Nations Human Rights Commission. For a short period of time, she began to write socio-political articles for the daily Baamdaad.

She arrived back in London in 1980 and immediately embarked on the publication of Moghavemat (Resistance), the first monthly political publication for the opposition. She also co-edited Mamnu'e-haa (The Forbiddens), a monthly collection of articles and poems banned in Iran, together with Manouchehr Mahjoubi.

In 1984 she founded the Iranian Women Organization of Great Britain and participated in the foundation of Society for Iranian Writers and Artists in Britain.

In 1988 she (together with Esmail Nooriala) co-edited a new literary magazine called Puyeshgaran that proved to be very influential in literary and artistic circles. It was published for eight years. She married Esmail Nooriala in 1990.

Her first full-scale novel, A Stranger in Me, was published in 1993. It was an immediate success, winning two literary prizes, Baaraan and Sepaas, as the best novel of 1993 printed outside Iran. The book has been reprinted two more times and still is in high demand.

She and her husband immigrated to the US in 1994. Since then, they have resided in Denver, Colorado. They founded Colorado Persian Society in 1996 and have recently set up a cultural center for Iranians called Pouneh Sara. She recently has founded Center for Iranian Women Studies and Documents.

In 1996 she published a collection of her short stories (Golden Ark). In 1987 she wrote and staged a play with feminist themes. She has widely traveled and has lectured on literary and socio-feminist subjects. The translation of her novel A Stranger in Me is going to hit the bookshelves in early 2002. She also has prepared her second novel for publication. Her works have been translated into English, French and Japanese.

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