I am currently working on two books, Dear Dr. B: Encounters of a Volunteer at a County Psychiatric Hospital and Life is a Garden, and an accompanying film documentary for Dear Dr. B.
Dear Dr. B: Encounters of a Volunteer at a County Psychiatric Hospital
Dear Dr. B: Encounters of a Volunteer at a County Psychiatric Hospital is about my experience working with under-privileged psychiatric patients as part of the Artists in Residence Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and my examination of the tragedy of poorly funded health services and the patients for whom there is no other refuge.
When I volunteered in the Artists in Residence Program, I embarked upon a journey that opened my eyes to the difficulties and pain of psychiatric patients’ lives and the daily struggles of a hospital desperately trying to keep its doors open. Upon meeting patients, I learned that most saw the hospital as a haven, a place to get clean clothes, a shower, and a hot meal; however, once a patient was treated and stabilized, they were forced back out on to the street. As I was not able to photograph inside the hospital, I returned home every night to sketch the patients, tell their stories, and write about the declining conditions of the hospital. My provocative literary piece, fully illustrated with my drawings, provides a first-hand account of the plight of under-privileged psychiatric patients, the dire needs of public hospitals, and the dramatic consequences of a failing public healthcare system.
Below are a few samples from the book.
Life is a Garden
My autobiographical memoir, entitled Life is a Garden: The Memoir of an Iranian American Painter and Poet, reflects on my unique life-changing experiences as a wife, mother, and artist. In this memoir, I narrate my emergence from the crucible of womanhood.
Life is a Garden is the incisive self-portrait of my experiences and struggles as an Iranian-American painter and poet. In this book, I reflect on my own experiences and struggles of transformation: first as a precocious, well-known poet in Iran, then as a loving mother and wife with a looming sense of depersonalization, and finally as a reborn artist and woman of strength and authenticity. This memoir describes my journey towards a new understanding of my work as an artist, my life as a mother and wife, and my struggle to define my identity and voice.