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Refugee Week

The Ungrateful Refugee – available for Refugee Week events
1st April 2019

Dina Nayeri is the author of The Ungrateful Refugee, which will be published on May 30th by Canongate. Her Guardian essay of the same name, which inspired the book, went viral on publication in 2017 and has now had almost 100k views.

Dina fled Iran with her mother and brother in the 1980s, before settling in the United States aged ten. The Ungrateful Refugee looks not only at her experience – the culture shock, the reaction from those she encountered, the mixed attempts to assimilate and reclaim her identity – but also the wider refugee experience. She interviews refugee still on the move, those stuck in limbo in camps, those recently granted leave to remain, and those who’ve been in a ‘safe’ country for years but never quite settled. She looks at the misconceptions created by differing cultural norms, and questions our assumption that refugees must excel to be accepted – that they must ‘give back’ to the societies which let them in.

Dina is a winner of the UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize (2018), a National Endowment for the Arts literature grant (2015), O. Henry Prize (2015), Best American Short Stories (2018), and fellowships from the McDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, and Yaddo. Her stories and essays have been published by The New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker, Granta New Voices, Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013) was translated to 14 languages. Her second novel, Refuge (2017) was a New York Times editor’s choice. She holds a BA from Princeton, an MBA from Harvard, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow.

Dina is happy speaking to groups of all ages. She lives in London, but is willing to travel depending on the size of audience.

More information on her events can be found at