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Outstanding Faculty Awards

Jasmin Darznik

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
Washington and Lee University
Rising Star Recipient

Jasmin Darznik is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington and Lee University, where she has taught since 2009. Dr. Darznik’s specialization is in 20th- and 21st-century American literature, with an emphasis on ethnic, immigrant, and diasporic writing. She also teaches courses in fiction and creative nonfiction writing.

Her book, The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life (Grand Central Publishing, 2011), traces the lives of three generations of women in Iran. A New York Times bestseller, the memoir has been translated into eight languages and published in thirteen countries. The Good Daughter garnered praise in such publications as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, MS., San Diego Union-Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Kirkus, and Vogue; was a finalist for the 2011 People’s Choice Award from the Library of Virginia; and was shortlisted for the 2012 Saroyan International Prize for Writing.

Dr. Darznik has received grants, fellowships, and honors from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Steinbeck Fellows Program, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Corporation of Yaddo.

Her essays have appeared in, among others, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. Her current creative project is a novel about the iconic Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, an excerpt of which will appear in the forthcoming anthology Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers.

In tandem with her creative writing, she’s at work on a scholarly study of the contemporary Middle Eastern American experience that considers creative work across different generic spheres — fiction, autobiography, music, and film. Articles drawn from this project have appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and Journal of Multi-Ethnic American Literatures of the U.S.

Dr. Darznik received a B.A. magna cum laude with honors in English and German from the University of California, Los Angeles, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from Princeton University. She was born in Tehran, Iran and came to the United States at the time of the 1979 Revolution.

View Nomination Packet

Jasmin Darznik


"In some ways my own path to writing and teaching has been an unlikely one. In 1979 my mother, father, and I fled the revolution in Iran. When I started school in America, I couldn’t read or write a word of English. It was hard going at first, but it was through books that I began to feel at home in a new country."