The Latifeh Yarshater Award 2014

The Latifeh Yarshater Award was instituted by the Persian Heritage Foundation to honor the memory of Latifeh Yarshater and her lifelong dedication to the improvement of Iranian women's human rights. The purpose of the award is to encourage scholarship in Iranian Studies focused on the condition of women in Persian speaking societies and to promote women's rights in these societies. The award, in the amount of $3,000, is granted biennially to a work of superior scholarship or literary value published within two years prior to the award. Works in English and Persian are the primary focus of the award. Works in French and German are also considered but only when the Committee on the Latifeh Yarshater Award unanimously agrees on their high merit. Current members of the award committee are: Mahnaz Afkhami, Massumeh Farhad, Shahla Haeri, Azar Nafisi, Nasrin Rahimieh, Mohamad Tavakoli Targhi, and Houra Yavari.

This year the Committee decided, for the second time in the history of the award, to present a life-time achievement award to Shahrnush Parsipur, arguably, Iran's most celebrated living novelist. The award is granted in recognition of Parsipur's significant achievement in introducing modern Persian fiction to audiences well beyond the borders of Iran. A tireless advocate as well of women's rights, Parsipur exemplifies the spectacular resilience displayed by Iranian women at home and abroad in face of tremendous travails and immense difficulties. Her stories, as well as her own life story, testify to the powers of courage, imagination and nobility of spirit in overcoming adversity and staving off defeat.The Latifeh Yarshater Award Ceremony, 2014
(Click on the picture to view a video.)

The first life-time achievement recipient was the esteemed poet, Simin Behbahani for her outstanding contribution to Persian literature, her exquisite poetry, her extraordinary courage in promoting the human rights of Iranians, especially Iranian women, her personal warmth, and her generosity of spirit.