About

Author. Columnist. Lecturer.Gina B. Nahai is a best-selling author and a professor of creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her novels have been translated into 18 languages and have been selected as “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. They have been finalists for the Orange Award, the IMPAC Award, and the Harold J. Ribalow Award. Nahai is the winner of the Los Angeles Arts Council Award, the Persian Heritage Foundation’s Award, the Simon Rockower Award, and the Phi Kappa Phi Award. Her writings have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Magazine, and Huffington Post. She writes a monthly column for the The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, for which she has twice been a finalist for an L.A. Press Club award.

Nahai’s first novel, Cry of the Peacock (Crown, 1992), told, for the first time in any Western language, the 3,000-year story of the Jewish people of Iran. It won the Los Angeles Arts Council Award for fiction. Her second novel, Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith (Harcourt, 1999), was a finalist for the Orange Prize in England, the IMPAC award in Dublin, and the Harold J. Ribalow Award in the United States. A No. 1 L.A. Times bestseller, Moonlight was named as “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times. Her third novel, Sunday’s Silence (Harcourt, 2001), was also an L.A. Times bestseller and a “Best Book of the Year.” Her fourth novel, Caspian Rain – published in September 2007 – was also an L.A. Times bestseller, was named “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune, and won the Persian Heritage Foundation’s Award.

Nahai is a frequent lecturer on the contemporary politics of the Middle East, has been a guest on PBS and CNBC, as well as a number of local television and radio news programs, and has guest-hosted on NPR affiliate KCRW (The Politics of Culture). A judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Awards (Fiction, First Fiction), she has lectured at a number of conferences nationwide and served on the boards of PEN Center USA West, The International Women’s Media Foundation, and B’nai Zion Western Region.

Nahai holds a BA and a master’s degree in international relations from UCLA and an MFA in creative writing from USC. She lives in Los Angeles and has recently completed her new novel, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S, which was released October 1, 2014 by Akashic.