Dina Nayeri

Book Shambles

On this week’s episode Robin and Josie chat with author Dina Nayeri about her new book The Ungrateful Refugee in which she looks back at her journey from leaving Iran as an 8 year old and arriving in the United States as a refugee with her family. They talk about the refugee experience, finding creativity during lockdown, the power of short stories and the challenges of teaching children about difficult subjects.

As always Book Shambles Patreon supporters get an extended edition of this week’s episode plus, those at the behind the scenes tier, this week also get to watch the episode! Support us at patreon.com/bookshambles


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Reading List

Dina recommends:

Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Women in Power by Mary Beard

The work of Lydia Davis

The work of Alice Munro

Drinking Coffee by ZZ Packer

The work of Maile Meloy

Boys Go to Jupiter by Danielle Evans

Robin recommends:

The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge

Everyday Madness by Lisa Appignanesi

I’m a Joke and So Are You by Robin Ince

The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White

War by Janne Teller

Josie recommends:

Sway by Pragya Agarwal

Small Acts of Resistance by John Jackson and Steve Crawshaw

The work of Raymond Carver

After the show Dina sent us an email saying she had so many short stories she wanted to recommend, particularly ones that “crack open the complexities of being a particular kind of person in a particular time and a place”. So here’s that list:

“The girl with the pimply face”  William Carlos Williams (1938) 

“A really good jazz piano,” Richard Yates (1962)  

“Gold coast” James McPherson (1968)

“A manual for cleaning women” by Lucia Berlin (1960-1990?)  

“What you pawn I will redeem” Sherman Alexie (2004)  

“Everything that rises must converge” Flannery O’Connor (1962)

“Where is the voice coming from?” Eudora Welty (1963)   

“The night Rhonda Ferguson was killed” Edward P. Jones (1992)  

“Lost in the City” Edward P. Jones (1992) 

“Edison, New Jersey” Junot Diaz (1996)

“Brownies,” ZZ Packer  (2000)

 “All our Names” [selection] (2014) Mengestu, Dinaw.

“The displaced person” Flannery O’Connor (1955)

“The German refugee” Bernard Malamud (1963)

“The management of grief,”  Bharati Mukherjee (1988)

“Two kinds” Amy Tan (1989) 

“Best quality” Amy Tan (1989) 

“Half and half” Amy Tan (1989) 

“The third and final continent” (1999) Jhumpa Lahiri  

“Hell-Heaven” (2004) Jhumpa Lahiri  

“Children as enemies” Ha Jin (2009)  

“Sonny’s blues,” James Baldwin (1958)  

“Car crash while hitchhiking” Denis Johnson (1992)  

“Emergency” Denis Johnson (1992)  

“The conversion of the Jews” Philip Roth (1959?)

“In the gloaming” Alice Elliott Dark (1993)

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)  [selections]

“Here I stand ironing”  Tillie Olsen (1957) 

“My son the murderer” Bernard Malamud (1968)  

“The child screams and looks back at you” Russell Banks (1981) 

“What feels like the world” Richard Bausch  (1987) 

“The bear came over the mountain” Alice Munro (2001)

 “Bartleby” Herman Melville (1853)  

“The yellow wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892)

“Signs and symbols,” Vladimir Nabokov (1948)

“A perfect day for banana fish”  JD Salinger (1948)

“The swimmer” John Cheever (1964)

 “Child’s play” Alice Munro (2008)

“The drowned life” by Jeffrey Ford  (2008) 

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