Dina Nayeri: The Ungrateful Refugee (with Padma Lakshmi)

Monday September 9: 7:30PM 8:30PM

Buy a copy of The Ungrateful Refugee or a $15 gift card to attend.This event will take place in the 2nd Floor art Department, located on the 3rd floor of the Strand, accessible via the stairs or elevator at 826 Broadway (at 12th Street).

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.

What is it like to be a refugee? It is a question many of us do not give much thought to, and yet there are more than 25 million refugees in the world.

Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother, and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned–refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.

Nayeri confronts notions like “the swarm,” and, on the other hand, “good” immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis.

Join us on the second floor as Dina sits down with Emmy-nominated polymath Padma Laskhmi to discuss her path-breaking book!

Dina Nayeri was born in Iran during the revolution and arrived in America when she was ten years old. She is the winner of the UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts literature grant, as well as a finalist for the Rome Prize and a Granta New Voices Project pick. Nayeri is the author of two novels—Refuge and A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea—and her work has been translated into fourteen languages and published in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Granta, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and many other publications. The Ungrateful Refugee is her first book of nonfiction. A graduate of Princeton, Harvard, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she lives in London.

Padma Lakshmi is internationally known as a food expert, model, actress, and best-selling author, as well as the recipient of the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor and Variety’s 2018 Karma award. Lakshmi is the Emmy-nominated host and an executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef. Lakshmi also serves as an ambassador for the ACLU, focusing on women’s reproductive health and immigration rights, and as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.