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
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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