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Jewish Journal

Becoming American

By Gina Nahai

April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

She comes up to me through the crowd -- designer clothes and Tahitian pearls and that I-know-I'm-gorgeous confidence that makes her impossible to look away from -- and hands me one of my own... read full article
  • My December visit with ‘lady’

    By Gina Nahai

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "Agha isn't here," Khanum says as soon as I walk in through the door. "I don't know when he'll be back."

    Agha is her husband -- dead for 35 years and buried in Iran -- but she speaks about him as if he were just out running an errand.

    "No point waiting around for him," she tells...

  • Rushdie’s ‘Clown’ No Laughing Matter

    By Gina Nahai

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Shalimar the Clown : A Novel," by Salman Rushdie (Random House, 2005).

    Salman Rushdie is at Disney Hall, addressing a near-capacity audience as part of the Music Center's 2006 Speaker Series. He has come this March 1 evening to talk about politics and art, truth and...

  • Botox Beware

    By Gina Nahai

    January 20, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    My first inkling that something has gone tragically wrong is when I hand the parking attendant my valet ticket and see a wicked, knowing smile -- I know what you've been up to and trust me, you shouldn't have -- spread across her face. I try to smile back at her, but my cheeks...

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  • The Legacy of ‘Esther’s Children’

    By Gina Nahai

    June 6, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    In his introduction to Esther's Children," (Jewish Publication Society, $110) editor Houman Sarshar speaks of a time when, at 6 years old and about to start elementary school, he discovered his legacy as an Iranian Jew. Over breakfast in their apartment in Tehran, Houman's father, a...

  • To Become American

    By Gina Nahai

    October 4, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    I'm 11-years-old, my world a patchwork of mixed identities and conflicting beliefs, my eyes searching for a horizon I cannot yet see but that I follow almost by instinct. It's August in New York -- a long and gray stretch of humidity and noise, people speaking to me in an accent I...

  • Age of Restoration

    By Gina Nahai

    June 21, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    I'm two hours late for a noon invitation, my eyes itching from the unfamiliar weight of mascara so early in the day, and as I drive through town I'm rehearsing the many excuses I think I'll have to offer my host. It's a Sunday in June, and I'm about to celebrate a cousin's high...

  • Childhood’s Sweet Sharp Imprint

    By Gina Nahai

    May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    It is summer, a long time ago, and I am lying on a terrace overlooking an ancient garden full of rosebushes and fruit trees. The days have been so hot, the asphalt on the sidewalk melts under my feet if I dare step out of the house. At night, the temperature drops. My sisters and I...

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