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Shahrnush Parsipur to Receive Honorary Degree from Brown University


Source: Brown University

Nelson Mandela
A champion not only of the struggle against apartheid but also of truth and reconciliation, the former president of South Africa will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.).

Credit: Nelson Mandela Foundation

Brown will confer honorary degrees on Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela and seven other distinguished candidates during its 242nd Commencement exercises, Sunday, May 30, 2010. The eight candidates include actor Morgan Freeman, computer scientist Barbara Liskov, human rights leader Nelson Mandela, author Shahrnush Parsipur, civic leader Cecile Richards, reporter David Rohde, historian Romila Thapur, and historian Gordon S. Wood. The charge d'affaires at the Embassy of South Africa in Washington will be present to accept the degree on Mandela's behalf.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] - Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela and seven people who have distinguished themselves through their efforts in the arts, sciences, letters, scholarship and public service will receive honorary degrees from Brown University at Commencement Sunday, May 30, 2010:

Honorary degrees are awarded by the University's Board of Fellows and are conferred by the University president - in English and in Latin - during Commencement exercises on the College Green.

None of the recipients will speak at the Commencement ceremony; that honor is reserved for two members of the graduating senior class. Many of the honorands will, however, participate in Commencement forums and other public presentations on Saturday, May 29. Information about times and places will be available from the Office of Media Relations and on the University's 2010 Commencement Web page.

Shahrnush Parsipur  Author
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)

A frank proponent of women's rights, Iranian-born novelist Shahrnush Parsipur has seen all of her books banned in her native land and has been imprisoned for her writings four times, once for nearly five years.

Shahrnush Parsipur

Parsipur's writing career began in 1974 with the publication of her first novel, The Dog and the Long Winter, in which a tradition-bound young woman encounters the revolutionary activism of her brother and his friends. Parsipur's later works, such as Touba and the Meaning of the Night (1989) and Women Without Men (1989), explore the condition of women in Iran. A bestseller in Iran, Touba, like many of Parsipur's books, remains banned. In all, she has written 11 works of fiction and memoir. Translations of Parsipur's stories appear in Stories by Iranian Women since the Revolution (1991) and Stories from Iran: A Chicago Anthology (1991).

Imprisoned by both the Shah's security agency and the Islamic Republic in turn, the author now lives in exile in California. Parsipur was the first recipient of the International Writers Project Fellowship from Brown University in 2003-04. She also has received a Lillian Hellman/Dashiell Hammett Award from the Fund for Free Expression.

See profile of the other distinguished candidates on Brown University's web site.


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