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Sholeh Rezazadeh

Sholeh Rezazadeh - foto Frank Ruiter
Sholeh Rezazadeh - foto Frank Ruiter

(Iran, 1989) -- writer, poet and columnist -- received much praise and many prizes for her debut novel De hemel is altijd paars (The Sky is Always Purple, 2021). Readers were moved by the story of a young woman working in a charity shop, who falls in love with a musician and reflects on her homeland of Iran with mixed feelings. Rezazadeh, who studied medicine, came to The Netherlands in 2015. She has written and worked as a columnist for various Dutch publications. Her second novel, Ik ken een berg die op me wacht (I Know a Mountain Waiting for Me) appeared in 2023. In her characteristic poetic style, she writes about a woman who upends her life and travels from Amsterdam to Iran to join a nomadic family -- a story about yearning for quiet and space, told from the perspective of a river.

(WU2024)

Archive available for: Sholeh Rezazadeh

  • Writers Unlimited 2024

    Opening Night Writers Unlimited International Literature Festival The Hague

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Aminatta Forna, Burhan Sönmez, Celeste Ng, Daniëlle Zawadi, Emilienne Malfatto, Hashem Kabreet, Jan van Zanen, Jörgen Tjon A Fong, Judith Uyterlinde, Sholeh Rezazadeh

    Freedom to speak or write is important but impossible for many. The festival opened with "human voices" (the theme of this edition) from The Netherlands and beyond: a unique lineup of famous writers speaking out. This was one of those evenings of inspiration, creative thoughts and apt words that make a deep impression. Meet the authors who make their voices heard for four delightful days of this Hague festival!

    Opening Night 2024 was focused on freedom of speech and the power of literature, with appearances and readings by US author Celeste Ng, internationally one of the most-read authors with Asian roots; the British writer Aminatta Forna (The Hired Man); Adriaan van Dis, whose moving new novel Naar zachtheid en een warm omhelzen was published Fall 2023; Burhan Sönmez, author of Istanbul, Istanbul and chair of the writers organization PEN International.

    Young spoken-word artist and writer Daniëlle Zawadi from The Hague and, accompanied by percussionist Hashem Kabreet, writer and novelist Sholeh Rezazadeh gave spoken word performances.

    Host Jörgen Tjon A Fong discussed with the US novelist Celeste Ng (Our Missing Hearts) and French writer and photojournalist Emilienne Malfatto (Le Colonel ne dort pas; The Colonel Doesn't Sleep) what "human voices" means to them in relation to freedom of speech. Finally, Hague mayor Jan van Zanen kicked things off by officially opening the festival!

    The programme included the short film Monument for murdered writers and journalists 2023, a project by Theatre of Wrong Decisions, Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) and PEN International.

    Our favourite Hague bookstore De Vries Van Stockum had well-stocked tables of books for sale in the foyer of the Theater aan het Spui throughout the festival (English and Dutch language) by the authors appearing at the festival. Browse to your heart's content, and maybe the author is even present to personally sign your freshly bought book.

  • Writers Unlimited 2024

    Poetry and music: Sholeh Rezazadeh & Hashem Kabreet in Laak

    With: Hashem Kabreet, Sholeh Rezazadeh

    On Thursday afternoon, 18 January, writer and poet Sholeh Rezazadeh was in Laak courtesy of the Writers Unlimited International Literature Festival The Hague (18-21 January). She recited poetry, accompanied by percussionist Hashem Kabreet on handpan in Bibliotheek Laakkwartier, Vadercentrum-ADAM and the VrouwenBuurtLab. Free entry, everyone was welcome!

    Rezazadeh won the El Hizjra Prize for her poetry in 2019 en reached the finals of the Dutch Championship Poetry Slam in 2020. She wrote two wonderful bestselling novels in Dutch: De hemel is altijd paars (The Sky is Always Purple) and Ik ken een berg die op me wacht (I Know a Mountain Waiting for Me). Her books, poems and spoken-word performances are about family, identity, love, migration and nature.

    Rezazadeh and Kabreet perform:
    15:00-15:30 uur at Bibliotheek Laakkwartier, Linnaeusstraat 2
    15:45-16:15 uur at Vadercentrum-ADAM, Jonckbloetplein 24
    16:30-17:00 uur at VrouwenBuurtLab Laak, Van Meursstraat 1

    Sholeh Rezazadeh (Iran, 1989) -- writer, poet, performer and columnist -- received much praise and prizes for her first novel De hemel is altijd paars (The Sky is Always Purple). Readers were moved by the story of a young woman working in a charity shop, who falls in love with a musician and remembers her native country of Iran with love and pain. Rezazadeh studied medicine and came to The Netherlands in 2015. She has been published in many Dutch publications and is a columnist with Het Financieele Dagblad newspaper.

    Her second novel, Ik ken een berg die op me wacht (I Know a Mountain Waiting for Me), appeared in 2023. In the same poetic style as the first novel, Rezazadeh writes about a woman who turns her life upside down to travel from Amsterdam to Iran to join a nomadic family; it is a story of longing for space and quiet, told from the perspective of a river.


    Hashem Kabreet is a percussionist, trainer and workshop leader. He plays on Eastern and world percussion instruments (frame drum, darbouka, djembe, cajon, handpan) in bands such as Étoiles Électriques and HAN Here & Now, in various musical styles. He leads music workshops and creative trainings for organizations such as Sounds of Change, Raw Resonance, Art Root Collective, Orchestre Partout and Fort van de Verbeelding.

    Organization by Laaktheater and Writers Unlimited International Literature Festival The Hague.

    Festival tip: Sholeh Rezazadeh and Hashem Kabreet also appeared on Opening Night (18 January, Theater aan het Spui); and Rezazadeh also performed during the grand festival event Friday Night Unlimited (19 January) where you chose your own route along some twenty programmes on five stages at Theater aan het Spui and Filmhuis Den Haag.

    From 18 to 21 January 2024, the festival could be found in theatres, libraries and schools throughout The Hague: from Theater aan het Spui, Filmhuis Den Haag, Koninklijke Schouwburg and Paard to Theater Dakota, the Nieuw Waldeck, Schilderswijk and Ypenburg libraries and Haagse Hogeschool. With over ninety writers, poets and spoken-word artists and musicians from the Netherlands and abroad. With readings, prose, poetry, storytelling, spoken word, author interviews, topical talks, films and music.

  • Writers Unlimited 2024 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Book of My Life with Sholeh Rezazadeh

    Writers tell us about their favourite book: the book that inspires or touches them, that set their artistic, moral or intellectual compass. In short, the book they would recommend to everyone. Interview: Abdelkader Benali.

    Sholeh Rezazadeh chose as her favorite the novel Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth (1919) by Hermann Hesse.