5 Questions for Angella Nazarian, Author, Life As a Visitor


Angella Nazarian is a writer and psychologist in Los Angeles. Her book, Life As a Visitor, chronicles her family’s emigration from Iran and is available now in stores. For more info, see her website at AngellaNazarian.com.

1. Your book traces your emigration from Iran and subsequent life and travels. Tell us about the process that brought the book to print.
Angella Nazarian: Life as a Visitor was inspired by my two sons, Philip and Eli. I wanted to give them a glimpse at what it was like for their parents’ generation and our emigration from Iran. Heritage and roots are our gifts to our children.

2. In addition to your work as a writer, you’re also a psychologist. How does this background inform Life As A Visitor?
AN: My training in psychology has taught me to be self-reflective and more aware of how my feelings and experiences affect who I am. I definitely think that my writing is more intimate and I truly wanted to offer a genuine piece of myself to the reader, knowing that it will resonate with the reader.

3. I particularly love the title of this book; do you still feel as though you are a visitor? What does this mean to you?
AN: The title has many different interpretations. I do think philosophically, we are all visitors that life is a short and beautiful visit. But I also wanted to highlight the fact that our 2-week visit to Los Angeles ended up becoming our 31-year stay. As I discuss in the book, I consider Los Angeles to be my home now. It is where my husband and I have made our life together and where we have raised our sons. My travel experiences have shaped my point of view and helped me work through my feelings of living my life as a visitor. The challenges I face help me to grow and change in every aspect of my life and every role I play. That’s part of the beauty of life it s about the journey rather than the destination.

4. Throughout the book, you write about your relationship with your sons. How do you think living life as a visitor has influenced your parenting?
AN: I think that for most parents, having a child is one of the most amazing experiences in life. In Life as a Visitor, I discuss my feelings when Phillip turned eleven the same age that I was separated from my parents and how my kids natural process of growing up and separating from me compares to my own forced separation from my parents. Also, I think my experience of being separated from my parents at such a young age has positioned me to really connect with my kids, embrace their youth, and appreciate all of the joys of childhood.

5. Tell us about the personal growth seminars you teach in Los Angeles.
AN: The personal growth seminars came about out of my own need to dig a little deeper to uncover my true potential as an individual. I am firm believer that different stages in life demand different skills from us and it is only with a positive attitude and commitment to growth that we can blossom into who we are meant to become. In my personal growth seminars, we talk about the psychological underpinnings of why we at times feel stuck and how to change our lives in a positive way. These kinds of discussions in the seminars have been one of the greatest rewards for me as a facilitator and teacher.

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