Recent Awards


  • Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction  for The Drum Tower (2014)
  • Barbara Deming Award for Feminist Writers (2013), for the novel in progress, Gazelle
  • Winner of the Florida Review's 2008 Editor's Prize in Creative Non-Fiction
  • The 2006 Valiente Award of Voice Breaking Boundaries
  • Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction for The Crazy Dervish and the Pomegranate Tree (2003)
  • Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction for The Bathhouse (2001)
  • Barbara Deming Award for Peace and Social Justice (1999)
  • Berthelme Memorial Fellowship for Non-Fiction (1997)
  • The Prose Award of the University of Houston, Clear Lake (1996)

Selected Reviews



Against Gravity:

Houston Chronicle Review by John Freeman (March 2006)

Curled Up With A Good Book Review by Luan Gaines (2006)

Kirkus Review (2010)


The Bathhouse:

NPR Review by Alan Cheuse (May 2003)


The Bricklayer (Opera):

Houston Chronicle Review by Maggie Galehouse (March 2012)

Culturemap Houston Review by Joel Luks (March 2012)

The Wall Street Journal Review by Heidi Waleson (March 2012)


The Drum Tower:

"A terrifying, brave, wise novel, The Drum Tower is about far more than the revolution in Iran. It is about a girl who is trapped in a labyrinth of family history and mythology, who has the courage to find her way out. Farnoosh Moshiri celebrates a deeper revolution in prose that I would follow anywhere."

-Simone Zelitch, author of Louisa and Moses in Sinai


"She is Iran's Solzhenitsyn. Ms. Moshiri's first novel, At the Wall of the Almighty, remains an unrecognized masterpiece. One might have hoped its grudgingly won reputation,and the trail of her fiction, would have led the critics to her. The Drum Tower, her latest work, may well light the way. What characters, what language! The novel just flows, evolving from something ancient and primordial into a modern transcendent voice. Honestly, if I awoke some morning to find she had won the Nobel, I wouldn't be at all surprised."

-Juris Jurjevics, author of Red Flags and The Trudeau Vector, and former publisher of Soho Press


KIRKUS REVIEW, October 16, 2014:

"Family secrets, letters to a ghost father, and the Simorgh, or mythical Bird of Knowledge, inspire this lyrical tale set in Tehran on the eve of the Iranian Revolution..." Read more here.



"Talkhoon is a bright girl, imaginative and sensitive living in Iran at the time of the 1979 revolution..." Read more here.



Bookviews by Alan Caruba, a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, December 1, 2014:

"The Drum Tower by Farnoosh Moshiri ($25.95, Black Heron Press) is his fourth work of fiction and it has already won an award as well as being nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award. It is a story narrated by a 16-year-old girl, depicting the fall of Drum Tower, the house of a family descended from generations of War Ministers to the rules of Iran. Peopled by interesting characters, it chronicles the early days of the Islamic Revolution that occurred in 1979 and overthrew the shah. We become witnesses to the competition of the competing factions and the rise of the Revolutionary Guard, along with chaos and murder in the streets of Tehran, as well as the arrests and executions of members of her family. In many ways, this provides a far more graphic look at what occurred than just a straight history as you join the narrator trapped in a labyrinth of family history and the turmoil of the revolution that affects current events.

Superbly written, I am happy to recommend it."


Interview by BBC World Services-Arts Hour, December 2, 2014:

The interview has been archived. The segment starts after 13 minutes. You may wish to drag the bar to that point to listen to the interview.


Review by Azadeh Moaveni, The Financial Times, UK, December 5, 2014:

"…Many pages of The Drum Tower are devoted to revolutionary themes, the way religious zealotry borders on mental illness, bitter class divisions, and families splintered by ideology. This is well-trodden ground but made compelling by Moshiri’s dark humour and keen emotional insight."  Read more here.


Curious Animal, London, UK, December 7, 2014: Best Books of 2014:

Eric Mayrhofer:

"Farnoosh Moshiri’s The Drum Tower follows young Iranian woman Talkhoon as she struggles to survive during the country’s 1979 religious revolution. In this gorgeously written book, ideologies spark war and old secrets are weapons, while the mythic Simorgh, the bird of knowledge, weaves through it all. It’s a heart-pounding rumination on knowledge, true and false, hidden and revealed, and contains one of the most dangerous villains I’ve read in ages."


Review by Eric Mayrhofer in Curious Animal, London, UK, December 11, 2014:

"With her fourth novel The Drum Tower, Iranian-born writer Farnoosh Moshiri has delivered a tale about knowledge: how it saves us, destroys us, drives us mad or makes us realize, tragically, that it’s the rest of the world that’s crazy. In doing so, she’s written one of the year’s best novels." Read more here.



Review in The Times, London, UK, January 3, 2015:

"The publishers are selling Moshiri as “Iran’s Solzhenitsyn,” which is a fair assessment of her intellect and breadth of vision — but I never enjoyed a book by Solzhenitsyn and I enjoyed The Drum Tower immensely. The truth is that Moshiri is a force in her own right; before the revolution of 1979 she was well known as a feminist writer, and fled Iran when the new ultra-religious government started arresting intellectuals. The child Talkhoon and her sister live in the Drum Tower, a decaying mansion in Tehran. Talkhoon has been through some kind of mental storm and lives in the basement as a virtual prisoner. Her mother vanished when she was a baby, her father is in hiding, her scholarly grandfather has gone mad. The dying days of the Shah in the 1970s are brilliantly and unforgettably evoked, and the story is drenched in the beautiful legends of ancient Persia."