Goli Taraghi is an Iranian-born, U.S. educated author who returned to Tehran to study and work in international relations and later, to teach philosophy. Her work is inspired by growing up in the privileged, old-money neighborhood of Shemiran in Tehran and later, as an exile in Paris and various visits to post-revolution Tehran. Taraghi has been honored as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France and has won the Bita Prize for Literature and Freedom given by Stanford University in 2009. She is included in Reza Aslan’s anthology of modern literature from the Middle East, Tablet & Pen; in the anthology Words without Borders: The World through the Eyes of Writers; and in the PEN anthology of contemporary Iranian Literature edited by Nahid Mozaffari, Strange Times, My Dear. She is a bestselling author in Iran, where her books are often censored.
Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is author, most recently, of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. His first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, has been translated into thirteen languages and named by Blackwell as one of the hundred most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the End of the War on Terror (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism), as well as the editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. Aslan is Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside.