A.G. Mojtabai (aka “Grace” or “Ann Grace Mojtabai” in separate Google listings) is the author of twelve books. She has no formal literary training. At an early age she began dissection on her own. In high school she was tracked for science. Her approach to character in her novels resembles that of dissection. Layer after layer of superficial presentation is peeled away to reveal where the person really lives.
After graduation from Antioch College, she married an Iranian scholar/diplomat and returned with him to Teheran where her two children were born. Postings to Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan followed.
On her return to the U.S., Mojtabai pursued graduate study in philosophy at Columbia and lectured at Hunter College. She worked as a librarian at City College until receiving a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study and a subsequent Briggs-Copeland lectureship at Harvard.
Mojtabai calls her decision to leave the East Coast for the heartland a “hinge” enabling a major turning in her life. Her journey is recorded in Blessed Assurance: At Home with the Bomb in Amarillo, Texas. It remains her best-known book, taught in ethnography, American political history, and religious studies courses.
Among the honors she has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lillian Smith Award for the best book about the American South, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.