Shokoofeh Azar

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

(2018 Stella Prize Shortlistee)

Shokoofeh Azar was born in Iran in 1972, just 7 years before the Islamic revolution. Despite spending most of her childhood and early career in a relatively hostile environment for independent writing, Shokoofeh’s early interest in writing and art was sparked by her father who was an Iranian intellectual, artist, author and poet.

Sunday 29th July 12:30  

She studied literature at high school and university, later working as a journalist for an independent newspaper for 14 years.

In 2004, Shokoofeh became the first Iranian woman to backpack and hitchhike along the Silk Road: from Iran to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan and India. In 2010, with independent reporting increasingly coming under threat, Shokoofeh was forced to leave Iran and was accepted as a political refugee by Australia.

In 2017, Shokoofeh was granted Australian citizenship and now lives in Geelong, Victoria.

Sunday 29th July 12:30


Shokoofeh will talking about what has happened to her as she was a political refugee and especially her new her book, The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, which was shortlisted for the  2018 Stella Prize.