Nahid Rachlin

Nahid Rachlin went to Columbia University on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and to Stanford University on a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. Her publications include a memoir, Persian Girls (Penguin); four novels, Jumping Over Fire (City Lights), Foreigner (W.W. Norton), Married to a Stranger (E.P. Dutton), Crowd of Sorrows; and a short story collection, Veils (City Lights). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, The Washington Post, the LA Times, Solstice Literary Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Humanities Review, Redbook, and Shenandoah. Rachlin’s stories have been adopted by Symphony Space’s “Selected Shorts,” aired on NPR, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been translated into Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Dutch, German, Czech, Arabic, and Persian. She has been interviewed by NPR for Fresh Air, and by Poets and Writers, and Writers Chronicle. Rachlin is the recipient of several awards, including the Bennet Cerf Award, the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. She has taught Creative Writing at Barnard College, Yale University and at a wide variety of conferences, including Paris Writers Conference, Geneva Writers Conference, and Yale Writers Conference.

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Nahid Rachlin

Publication Date: August 27, 2024

$17.95 Tradepaper


Set in contemporary Iran, Mirage delves into the complicated relationship between Roya and her identical twin sister, Tala. Their inseparable bond becomes hard to maintain as they grow older, but when they both get pregnant at the same time, their relationship is rekindled. After an accident causes Roya to miscarry and Tala to go into labor, grief, jealousy, suspicion, and guilt fracture that recently renewed relationship. Delving deep into the human psyche, Nahid Rachlin intricately explores themes of sisterly identity, betrayal, envy, depression, loss, and the impact of memories. Like Ottessa Moshfegh’s Death in Her Hands (Penguin Press, 2020), Mirage artfully juxtaposes the sociopolitical dynamics of contemporary Iran with a story of the nature of grief and redemption that will take firm hold of your heart.


“I was completely drawn into Mirage and captivated by its haunting young heroine. In spare, yet sensual, prose, Rachlin brings to life the felt experience of women in contemporary Iran. Like the intertwined fates of the two identical twin sisters, Roya and Tala, the personal—loss, betrayal, the tentative border between illusion and reality—intertwines with the political, as the characters navigate within an oppressive and secretive society to balance self-preservation, autonomy, and idealism. With its lush and richly colored setting and surreal and menacing atmosphere, Mirage casts a powerful spell on the reader.”

Céline Keating, author of The Stark Beauty of Last Things

“With its lush, intimate details and vivid storytelling, Mirage is at times heartbreaking, at other times urgent—and always deeply compelling. Nahid Rachlin skillfully weaves together complex relationships and a fraught political landscape to bring to life this striking novel. As the disturbing mystery at its center unfolds, Mirage is sure to keep readers entranced until the very last page.”

Sofia Romero, author of We Have Always Been Who We Are