Tuesday, November 18 – 10:30am
Gina Nahai wrote one of Literary Affairs favorite book club books of all time, Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith. Her latest release, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is part murder mystery and part family saga. This dramatic and often hilarious novel explores the history of Los Angeles’s Iranian Jewish community. The novel is set between Tehran and Los Angeles over the course of a century. Literary Affairs is proud to welcome back Gina Nahai for an exclusive Books and Breakfast event at the beautiful Hotel Bel Air. Please join us for a delicious continental breakfast and book club style conversation between the author and Julie Robinson. The morning will include a Q&A with the author and book signing.
Tickets are $45, and space is limited – so get your tickets today!
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About the Book
The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is an eye-opening depiction of Iranian Jews in exile in America. From the very beginning, this immigrant community has generated controversy. In Los Angeles, where there are more Iranian Jews than anywhere else in the world, including Iran, they are largely viewed as insular, enigmatic, and reluctant to integrate. Nahai draws from real events, including the brutal, unsolved murder of an Iranian Jewish businessman attributed by many to his wife; a devastating Ponzi scheme perpetrated within the Iranian Jewish community by one of their own; and an ongoing and very public fight between Los Angeles city leaders and the head of its most powerful union. Hers is a depiction of Los Angeles as a “Third World country” –a city divided not so much by geography as by ethnic, religious, and economic considerations. She explores not only her own tight-knit (mizrahi) subculture, but also the tensions between it and the ashkenazi and sephardic, even Muslim Iranian subcultures. As with much of her previous writing, her observations–at once sharp-sighted, tragic and hilarious–are bound to cause great controversy, resistance, and soul searching within her immediate community.
About the Author
Gina B. Nahai is a best-selling author, columnist, and full-time lecturer at USC’s Master of Professional Writing Program. Her novels have been translated into eighteen languages, and have been selected as “Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has also been a finalist for the Orange Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has won the Los Angeles Arts Council Award, the Persian Heritage Foundation’s Award, the Simon Rockower Award, and the Phi Kappa Phi Award. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post, among others. She writes a monthly column for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, and is a three-time finalist for an LA Press Club Award. Nahai holds a BA and a Masters degree in International Relations from UCLA, and a Master of Professional Writing from USC. She’s a former consultant for the Rand Corporation, and a frequent lecturer on the politics of pre- and postrevolutionary Iran. The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is her latest novel.