Amirrezvani, Anita 1961–

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Amirrezvani, Anita 1961–


Born November 13, 1961, in Tehran, Iran; immigrated to the United States with family, 1962; daughter of Ahmad Amirrezvani and Katherine Smith. Education: Attended Vassar College; University of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1983.


E-mail—[email protected]


Journalist, writer, and editor. Telelerning, Inc., San Francisco, CA, editor, 1983-84; PC World magazine, San Francisco, senior associate editor, 1989-96; Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, CA, assistant entertainment editor, 1994-95, staff writer, beginning 1995; San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, CA, dance critic, 2000-05. Also worked as a freelance writer and was writer-in-residence at the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers (twice), Langley, WA.


Phi Beta Kappa.


National Arts Journalism Program fellow, 1997.


The Blood of Flowers: A Novel, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007.

Also author of monthly "Consumer Watch" column, 987-89; contributor to professional journals.


Anita Amirrezvani's debut work, The Blood of Flowers: A Novel, was called a "sumptuous tale of female fortitude and ingenuity" by Margaret Flanagan in Booklist. The story revolves around a nameless teenager living in seventeenth-century Iran. Following her father's death, the teenaged girl and her mother become servants to relatives. Eventually because of her poverty, the girl is forced into a temporary marriage called a "sigheh." The young girl eventually makes a better life for herself as she learns the trade of carpet weaving from her uncle, who is a master weaver. Library Journal reviewer Evelyn Beck commented that "the plucky narrator's rocky road toward independence is stirring and surprisingly erotic." The author also interweaves with the young girl's story the numerous folktales told by her mother.

"Before I started to develop the plot, one of my main concerns was to provide a more nuanced view of Iran than we normally see in news headlines," the author said in an interview on She went on to note: "I wanted to show what life might look like from the perspective of a young woman who lived long ago, and to draw readers so completely into old Iran that they would be able to smell the rosewater and picture the deep indigos and crimsons of handmade carpets." Most reviewers believed that the author accomplished her goals. "The Blood of Flowers is a wonderfully rich tapestry of characters and events," wrote Douglas R. Cobb on the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted: "Sumptuous imagery and a modern sensibility … make this a winning debut."



Booklist, April 15, 2007, Margaret Flanagan, review of The Blood of Flowers: A Novel, p. 29.

Bookseller, April 14, 2006, Nicholas Clee, "Headline Wins Hot Iran Novel," p. 13; March 9, 2007, Benedicte Page, "Rugs to Riches: Benedicte Page Talks to Anita Amirrezvani about Her Debut Novel, Which Explores the Hardships of 17th-Century Iran and the Art of Carpet Making," p. 22.

Entertainment Weekly, June 15, 2007, Allyssa Lee, review of The Blood of Flowers, p. 83.

Library Journal, March 1, 2007, Evelyn Beck, review of The Blood of Flowers, p. 66.

Publishers Weekly, January 22, 2007, Suzanne Mantell, "Blood of Flowers," p. 63; February 12, 2007, review of The Blood of Flowers, p. 59.

School Library Journal, April, 2007, Ellen Bell, review of The Blood of Flowers: A Novel, p. 168.

ONLINE, (October 14, 2007), includes biography of author.

BookLoons, (October 14, 2007), Hilary Williamson, review of The Blood of Flowers., (June 29, 2007), interview with author.

Brown BookLoft, (August 20, 2007), review of The Blood of Flowers.

Compulsive Reader, (October 14, 2007), Liz Hall-Downs, review of The Blood of Flowers.

Curled Up with a Good Book, (October 14, 2007), Douglas R. Cobb, review of The Blood of Flowers.

Payvand's Iran News, (May 8, 2007), "An Interview with Anita Amirrezvani, Author of The Blood of Flowers."

PopMatters, (July 23, 2007), Lara Killian, review of The Blood of Flowers.

Reading Matters, (April 9, 2007), review of The Blood of Flowers.