As I put the finishing touches on the first draft of my book, my head is full of images of the grandeur of Persepolis, walled gardens blooming in the desert, and plates heaped with charred kebab and steaming piles of saffron rice. In trying to translate the swirling thoughts in my head into written words, I find that sometimes it’s a challenge to convey a subtle idea, while sometimes the poetry flows easily.
It’s amazing, but just reading great writing helps me to be a better writer. This essay by Laleh Kahlili, an Iranian American with a PhD from Columbia and a lecturer in Middle East Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, has been particularly inspirational. In Ode to Paradise: Tastes of Forgotten Flavors, her essay on the website The Iranian, her words evoke happiness, longing, and hunger all at once. I hope you find these words about the emotional power of food as inspirational as I do. If you’re new to Persian cuisine, it will shed light on how important a role food plays in Iranian life.
For now, back to writing! Bon weekend!