AMIR AHMADI ARIAN started his writing career as a journalist in Iran in 2000, while an undergrad engineering student at the University of Tehran. From 2002 he began writing fiction and translating books.  He has published hundreds of articles in Iranian newspapers and magazines on literature and politics, two novels (one of them was shortlisted for the prestigious Golshiri award), a collection of stories, and a book of nonfiction on the state of Iranian literature in the new millennium. He also translated from English to Farsi novels by E.L Doctorow, Paul Auster, P.D. James, and Cormac McCarthy.

Amir left Iran in 2011 to undertake a PhD in comparative literature at the University of Queensland, Australia. While working on his thesis he switched language, and since 2014 he has been writing in English. In this phase of his career, he has published short stories and essays in The GuardianMassachusetts ReviewAsymptoteopenDemocracy, etc. He is currently living in NYC where he earned an MFA in the NYU Creative Writing Program as The Axinn Foundation/E.L. Doctorow Fellowship recipient of 2016 - 2018. Now he is teaching literature and creative writing at CUNY City College.

Amir Ahmadi Arian’s first novel written in English, Then The Fish Swallowed Him, will be published in Winter 2020 on a major new HarperCollins imprint for international literature HarperVia. French rights have been sold in an exclusive pre-empt to Jean Mattern of Editions Grasset & Fasquelle.

The novel follows an ordinary Tehran bus driver who finds himself thrown into a mind-bending cycle of solitary confinement and interrogation in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison. The first-person narrative also takes account of the other side, the interrogator and the system he works for, shedding a new light on the hidden side of Iranian politics by humanizing the interrogator and making sense of his reasons and incentives.  Then The Fish Swallowed Him can be read as a 1984 for the 21st century, and as a stark warning about the psychological impact of totalitarianism.  See the “Book Deal of the Week” announcement in Publishers Weekly

Read The Vermin, a short story

Read Call of the Flesh, a short story, nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize 

Read The War Museum, a short story


Open Democracy A Family Under Attack: Iranian exiles and the economic sanctions

Al Jazeera Why are So Many Iranian Minors Seeking Asylum in Europe?

Words Without Borders Gems under Debris: Repression, Revolution, and Reading in Modern Iran (a helpful introduction if you are planning to read or teach modern Iranian literature)

Guernica Magazine Fragments From A War-Torn Childhood

The Guardian Donald Trump peddles dangerous fictions. But novelists can challenge him

New York Times Why Iran Is Protesting

Literary Hub (Freeman's Channel) A Year Among the Boat People, My People

London Review of Books Trump's Rhetorical Tradition