Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dina Nayeri's "A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea"

Dina Nayeri was born in the middle of a revolution in Iran and moved to Oklahoma at ten-years-old. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, was released in 2013 by Riverhead Books (Penguin), translated to 13 foreign languages, and selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers book. Her work is published or scheduled for publication in over 20 countries and has appeared in Granta New Voices, The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Salon, Glamour, and elsewhere. She holds an MBA and a Master of Education, both from Harvard, and a BA from Princeton. She has worked in high fashion, management consulting, university admissions, investment banking, and once as a grumpy lifeguard. Now Nayeri is at work on her second novel (also about an Iranian family) at the Iowa Writers Workshop where she is a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow.

Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea:
It's hard to write a pretty young Iranian character and not envision Golshifteh Farahani playing her in the movie. But I wouldn't make her my main character. Instead, I would cast this Iranian starlet as the beautiful best friend in the novel, Ponneh. For my main character, Saba (and her twin sister, Mahtab), I would cast someone whose expression can hint at a lot of hidden sorrow, who isn't quite so stunning but is striking and unique, and who has the air and charisma of the storyteller. Maybe Zuleikha Robinson? As for the male lead, I would cast one of my friends who is a dreadful actor, but looks exactly right for the part.
Learn more about the book and author at Dina Nayeri's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue