Sunday, February 10, 2013

"A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea"

Dina Nayeri was born in the middle of a revolution in Iran and moved to Oklahoma at ten-years-old. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, was released in 2013 by Riverhead Books (Penguin), translated to 13 foreign languages, and selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers book. Her work is published or scheduled for publication in over 20 countries and has appeared in Granta New Voices, The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Salon, Glamour, and elsewhere. She holds an MBA and a Master of Education, both from Harvard, and a BA from Princeton. She has worked in high fashion, management consulting, university admissions, investment banking, and once as a grumpy lifeguard. Now Nayeri is at work on her second novel (also about an Iranian family) at the Iowa Writers Workshop where she is a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow.

Nayeri applied the Page 69 Test to A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea and reported the following:
No, page 69 doesn't represent the novel at all. Funny enough, it's one of my least favorite scenes, because it's one of the earliest ones I wrote and so I've had enough of it. It's a fight between a father and daughter in an Iranian village, and it does a lot of work in setting up various conflicts. But for me, the heart of the story is the tales Saba weaves about her twin sister in America, and the voices of the surrogate village mothers who take care of her. If page 69 had been any of those things, I would have said yes.
Learn more about the book and author at Dina Nayeri's website.

--Marshal Zeringue