|WOMEN AUTHORS: Ezzat Goushegir
Iranian Woman Writer and playwright
Iranian Woman Writer and playwright
Born in Iran, she received her
Bachelor degree in Playwriting and
Dramatic Literature from College of
Dramatic Arts in Tehran, Iran.
She immigrated to the United States
in 1986 where she received her
M.F.A from University of Iowa
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To read a short short story by Ezzat Gouhegir
"The Sulking Sunflower",
To learn more about Ezzat Goushegir
Wait till you see her very long list of printed works!
Iran is a country of the oldest known civilization.
And the city where I was born in, –Dezful—is 5000 years old.
I have a feeling of closeness to those people who had lived there
thousands years ago. They had affinities to the ancient Sumerians
where Inanna, the Goddess of love and fertility ruled over the people
with her wisdom around 6000 years BC. I’m sharing the origin of my
cultural and historical background because I believe that without the
knowledge of the past, our judgment of our presence is incomprehensible.
I was born in contemporary Iran of
course, I experienced Pahlavi’s era, the
Islamic revolution, and I lived through
Iran-Iraq war for almost 8 years, and I
left the country because of the
intolerable political situation, but I’m
also carrying Inanna’s blood in my
DNA…So, it’s an exciting discovery to
learn that you’re fundamentally a 6000
years old woman in a body of a
contemporary woman, when you’ve
journeyed over and over to the realm of
under world --symbolically of course—
in search of knowledge and wisdom!
Thank God I still have my
teeth and hair!!
Iowa City really reminded me of the city of my birth in a different way.
It was Iowa City where I gave birth to myself and defined my
being for the second time. It was Iowa City where in isolation I spent
most of my creative years in the U.S…And fell in love with all the great
American poets and writers. It was also Iowa City where I discovered the
richness of its earth, the erotic beauty of corn fields and the unimaginable
intelligence in hog’s eyes.
As everyone were laughing and making fun of me that I have covered
my nose, suddenly a group of pigs ran towards me where
I had been standing and gazed into my eyes!! That was it!
The connection just happened between us! We amazingly communicated
invisibly, mocked each other, laughed childishly and even told intellectual
jokes in a language not audible to others. No one could hear us!
It was an extraordinary secretive moment of my life with those
intellectual, bohemian pigs! I really miss them. I hope they’re still alive,
which I doubt about it! I think we had a great solidarity together; perhaps
they thanked me for thinking about them as sacred entity, although I could
not bear their stinking smell!!
In my first field trip to one of the Hog Farms in
Iowa with IWP members (my first visit with pigs in
my entire life!) I experienced an extraordinary
encounter with pigs! The odor of the place was
unbearable! I couldn’t breathe!! Everyone’s eyes
were fixed on me with curiosity to see what my
reaction would be, because I had come from a
country where eating pork was forbidden.
I’m thinking to arrange a trip to India someday soon
just to say hello to the sacred cows in the streets and
see how my communication with them will go!
Do ya feel lucky?
Well Do ya?
Enter our contests!
On being a single parent.
In Iran single parenting is not a choice. It is against the
Islamic law and considered a big sin if a woman
bears a child out of wedlock. So, single parenting is
caused by divorce or becoming a widow. In Iran there
is a great bond of family support and community ties
among people. But in contrast in western countries
there is a great social and governmental support
which countries like Iran lacks.
HouseWifeMafia.com asked Ezzat if it was easier in America.
NO! Single mothers in the U.S. are also under enormous pressure.
To obtain an accurate answer and a better understanding, we must study this
subject from different dimensions such as socio-economical, racial and
When did you discover that you were a writer?
In each period of my life I’ve considered
myself a writer of that specific period of
time and sometimes I did not call myself a
real writer at all! It’s a natural process in a
writer’s life to evaluate herself in a harsh
way. But to be clear, the turning point of my
life considering myself a writer, was at the
age of 16 when a prestigious Iranian
magazine published one of my short
stories. It was a great honor and
unforgettable gift to me!
What obstacles did you have to overcome there and here?
(as a woman, a writer, a parent.....)
This question requires broad answers. After Islamic revolution in Iran,
being a woman was a big challenge. At this period of history suddenly
Iranian women faced a certain model of womanhood imposed by authorities
which the majority of modern women did not accept. So, in every moment of
our lives we had to fight for smallest things in order to gain what we had lost.
We also learned the new strategies to obtain our identity, to know
who we are and what it means to be a woman in today’s world.
The result of all the struggles is a great achievement which is a strong,
zealous women’s movement, working diligently with determination and
wisdom to make a big change in Iranian society.
The obstacles in exile are different and
An exiled or immigrant woman
writer is a woman who lives in one
place, but her soul searches for
another place. Because she is not
completely accepted in the new land,
she has to search for another identity.
She faces so many difficulties such as
the language, culture, and economic
In order to melt into a new society,
she has to die, be reborn again
and ultimately create a new self.
This journey is not an easy journey. But
we have to believe that human beings
have an infinite capability to cope with
the different conditions and to adapt
themselves to the new situations. It’s all
because of the glorious values of life.
What is your best advice to others attempting a career in writing?
It all depends on what kind of writer they want to be. Generally writing should
be their first priority in life, with economic consideration and perpetual
persistence and determination. For the serious writers I should quote what
Marguerite Duras says in Hiroshima My Love: “the art of seeing needs to be
learned”. So, the writer should see and write what is invisible to others. The
writer should also learn the art of listening, understanding and absorbing.
Sometimes the impaired writers are magical in the sense that with the loss of
one sense they gain other strong aesthetical senses.
|What would you say to those who write in secret,
or haven't yet put their stories on paper ?
|Come out of your closet! You’ve so much
to share…you’d know who you really are!
What was the immigration experience like?
Were you treated well?
As I mentioned it’s a process of death and rebirth….
a process of being an infant again with a brain of an
adult. In order to learn how to walk, you
have to fall on the ground a thousand times.
You shed your lonely tears, but without any
help you stand up again. Each time you
stand up you feel you are stronger.
The whole experience elevates us to the
degree of self- direction, self-cultivation and
|What do you think immigrating
would be like now
with the war going on?
With the rise of neo-conservatism in the
world, I would like to quote what Hegel said
on lessons from history:
“We learn from history that we never
learn anything from history….
What experience and history teaches is this-
that nations and governments have never
learned anything from history.”
|Do you ever face discrimination?
Discrimination is everywhere and
relative, we face it in different
ways all the time.
How can a society forget the destruction of Hiroshima bombing and the
most recent war --the war in Vietnam? And why instead of resolving the
conflicts by constructive dialogues, the authorities are staging a bloody play,
more ferocious than the games of gladiators to satisfy their sense of power!
|I think the solution is in the words of poets.
My conclusion would be two lines of Rumi’s poem:
I’m neither of the West nor the East
Not of the ocean, nor an earthy beast
Unity is what I sing, Unity is what I speak
Unity is what I know, Unity is what I seek
What do you wish that you had
That TIME goes so fast!
|When you sum up all your wisdom so far, what is the
single most important thing that you have learned?
That every moment something under my skin dies
and is reborn again, these atomic particles inside
my body would reach their puberty, have passion,
make love, reach their orgasm, get pregnant, give birth,
have their sadness and happiness, and die again.
This dialectical cycle of life continuously happens inside
us. We are the symbol of birth, death and rebirth….