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Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Biography

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is the author of the novels SAVAGE TONGUES, CALL ME ZEBRA and FRA KEELER, and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame. She is a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree and the winner of a 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award, a John Gardner Award and a 2015 Whiting Award, as well as the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and residency fellowships from MacDowell and Ledig House. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, Guernica, Granta, Bomb and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago and is the founder of Literatures of Annihilation, Exile and Resistance, a lecture series on the global Middle East that focuses on literature shaped by colonialism, military domination and state-sanctioned violence. 

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Books by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi - Fiction

It’s summer when Arezu, an Iranian American teenager, goes to Spain to meet her estranged father at an apartment he owns there. He never shows up, instead sending her a weekly allowance, care of his step-nephew, Omar, a 40-year-old Lebanese man. As the weeks progress, Arezu is drawn into a mercurial, charged and ultimately catastrophic affair with Omar, a relationship that shatters her just at the cusp of adulthood. Two decades later, Arezu inherits the apartment. She returns with her best friend, Ellie, an Israeli-American scholar devoted to the Palestinian cause, to excavate the place and finally put to words a trauma she’s long held in silence.

by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi - Fiction

Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists and autodidacts. Alone and in exile, she leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago. Books are her only companions --- until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic, and fraught. They push and pull across the Mediterranean, wondering if their love --- or lust --- can free Zebra from her past.