Persis Karim is a poet, writer and professor of literature and creative writing at San Jose State University. She was born and raised in California, but was profoundly influenced by her immigrant parents and their respective biographies. Her mother was born and raised in France and immigrated after World War II. Her father was a French-born Iranian who lived in France during World War I and returned as a child to Iran where he was raised until he immigrated to the US. Karim describes their complex stories of immigration and the ways they were effected by the experiences of living through uncertain times in both France and Iran, and their desire to seek out “another story” in the United States. Persis’s family history is a complicated that reflects immense resilience, humility, diligence, and a vision for looking beyond the borders of “home” to discover themselves.
Two of her books, Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora offer beautiful essays and poetry that reflect what it means to be far from one’s origins. Her love letter? A memoir that will be an homage to her father whose life enabled hers. This is a compelling life story best heard told by Persis in her own voice.