Author, Actress, Journalist
Author of ‘The Last Living Slut: Born In Iran, Bred Backstage’ (HarperCollins) and ‘Dead Iranian Girl’ (Rare Bird Books)
The Last Living Slut: a book of a childhood in the Iranian Revolution, Political Activity, War and the Persian dusk… bath-houses in twilight, child abuse, escape to England, racial violence, American rock stars, love, blood & abortion. Female sexuality which has always been saturated in a saccharine, florid coating and ensconced within wealth, material goods, and fairy tale-like settings, is raw and human here and unvarnished: More Henry Miller and Bukowski, never Anais Nin. This book is a performance of dissent in order to demonstrate how men are idolized for their sexuality whilst women are demonized for it.
Unlike the many other countries, ‘The Last living Slut’ was censored in the UK and all interviews with Roxana and press for the book blocked by British media as Roxana didn’t fit the ‘safe’ stereotype of Iranian woman-oppressed, refugee, asylum seeker- in the UK media where diversity has such rigid categories that any voices operating outside of those frameworks are not legitimised.
Iranian girls who are sexually open rock n roll girls, wear slutty clothes and are also academics and intellectuals doesn’t fit the UK media’s agenda of ‘diversity’ representations.
‘The Last Living Slut’ also inevitably put Roxana on a black list in Iran, meaning she could never go back to Iran without being imprisoned and maybe worse. Missing her home and never one to shy from a life-threatening challenge, Roxana paid Kurdish smugglers to take her there illegally on horseback via the Turkish mountains. Dead Iranian Girl, her new book, details this perilous journey. From Jordan to Egypt’s City of dead, to Turkey and through the mountains, huts and caves, to go back to her childhood home. There are flashbacks to a life in the West on a sink estate, a life of domestic violence and segments of life with an American mafia boss in LA, a meeting with the Ku Klux Klan, a dalliance with a rock legend, letters form a serial killer on death row, and what ensues when she reaches Iran: Iranian sex parties, underground punk concerts, crystal meth in the Islamic Republic and film auditions to become a movie star, revolutionary guards, love and family.
Born in Iran, I was a child-revolutionary within a very politically active family. I was sent to England during the Iran/Iraq war at the age of 10. At 14 I wrote my first book ‘The Secret Garden’ about the street kids of Sao Paulo.
My love of academia has taken me to many universities and brought me to a political arena where I have had the opportunity to lecture on Sexual Politics and Gender Theory, and to speak at International Women’s Conferences on gender and cultural taboos.
As a human I am saturated in: Iran’s beauty, Michele Foucault, Victorian London, Transylvania, Oscar Wilde, Deconstruction, Judith Butler, Edith Piaf, Dylan Thomas, James Douglas Morrison, Leonard Cohen, animals and wildlife, Edinburgh’s underground city, Eric Cantona, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, The Rat Pack and feta cheese.