Launch Party!

Launch party for A DOOR BETWEEN US

I’m all about milestones and celebrations! Life can be hard and is always too short so sneaking in as much joy as possible sometimes feels like an important part of resistance. Birthdays in my household start with breakfast in bed. April Fools Day pranks have included cars believed stolen, fake notices of academic failure, and flocks of Barbies invading the office. And for added fun and pleasure, I started the tradition of kidnapping each teenager in my extended family out of their beds at some point in their 16th year. Fun!

So when it came to my book launch, nothing was going to stop me from doing it in style. I envisioned all my friends crowded into a local bookstore I would decorate with Iranian tapestries and decorative vases and where I’d serve Iranian tea and cookies as I talked about the brave men and women of the Iranian Green Wave.

And then….covid!

No problem! As we approached my launch date in September and the case count in California seemed manageable, I figured I could throw the same party but do it outside and with staggered timing so no more than 20 people would be there at a time. I reserved a cute little park and set about figuring out how to transform the space to have an Iranian feel and vibe. I ordered Iranian noghl and cookies to give out as favors. And I recruited friends to help greet folks and make sure everyone had a great time.

And then…fire!

Yes, that’s right, here in California the fire season was so awful that it was simply impossible to host an outdoor event. I postponed the party and then had to postpone AGAIN when yet another fire meant that my second date wouldn’t work either.

But finally…magic!

Despite two postponements, and the combined obstacles of a worldwide pandemic and the fruits of climate change, I was absolutely determined to host this party. And I’m so glad I stuck with it! 

October 24th was a gorgeous day. The park was beautiful thanks to the help of so many friends with decorating and set-up. I got to tons of people (in a socially distanced way!) and thank them for their role in supporting me over the years of writing. And I did the traditional book reading and signing that I’d been looking forward to for years. I even got everyone to sign my own book so I have a very special memento of the day. In short, it was magical and memorable and one of the best days of my life!

What milestones have you celebrated recently?

 

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Ehsaneh Sadr is an Iranian-American novelist and activist with a PhD in International Relations. She has worked, in various capacities, on campaigns related to Palestinian human rights, Iranian sanctions, access to credit for rural villagers, and safe spaces for children in crisis. She currently works with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to create the cultural and infrastructure changes needed to support a shift away from carbon-based modes of transportation. Ehsaneh currently lives in Northern California with her husband and two children but also considers Washington DC, Salt Lake City, and Tehran to be home.