Award-winning novelist Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi will visit Sewanee for a public lecture and reading on Tuesday, February 8th, at 4:30pm in Gailor Auditorium on the campus of the University of the South. A reception and book signing will follow, with copies available for purchase on the day. Oloomi is the author of the novel CALL ME ZEBRA (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the John Gardner Award, was long listed for the PEN Open Book Award, was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, A Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller and named a Best Book by over twenty publications. It is being translated into Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Romanian and was published in the UK by Alma Books, a division of Bloomsbury. She received a 2015 Whiting Writers' Award and was a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree for her debut novel, FRA KEELER (Dorothy, a publishing project, 2012).

Her work has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship and a Fellowship from Art OMI and has appeared in The ParisReview,  GRANTAGuernicaBOMB,  and the Los Angeles Review of Books among other places.  Her novel SAVAGE TONGUES was recently released with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In 2022, her novella, N., about Napoleon’s exile in Elba will be released by Coffee House Press as part of their Spatial Species Series.

She is the founder of LITERATURES OF ANNIHILATION, EXILE AND RESISTANCE is a bi-annual symposia & lecture series at the University of Notre Dame that focuses on the study of literatures that have been shaped by histories of migration, systemic violence, territorial and linguistic politics, extinction, and gross human rights violations. The series grapples with the constructed nature of history and reimagines American and global history from the position of suppressed voices; it also seeks to examine the relationships between ethics, aesthetics and literature by discussing how texts by writers of color/minoritized writers that are sites of alternative knowledge production can innovate the technology of the novel and the poem in the process of responding to state-sanctioned violence. She is Iranian-American and has lived in Catalonia, Italy, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

Oloomi's visit to Sewanee, organized by Dr. Parker Lawson, is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Italian and the Department of English, with generous support from the University Lectures Committee and additional funding from the Center for Teaching, and the Departments of International and Global Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.