International Bestselling Memoir Author to Deliver 20th Annual Margaret Laurence Lecture at Trent University


Free Public Event on November 10 Event to Feature Marina Nemat, Author of Prisoner of Tehran

Tuesday, November 3, 2009, Peterborough

Internationally-acclaimed bestselling memoir author, Marina Nemat, will deliver the Twentieth Annual Margaret Laurence Lecture at Trent University on Tuesday, November 10 at 8 p.m. in the Champlain College Lecture Hall, Room S307 on the Symons campus.

Coming to Trent for the first time, Ms. Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran, an account of her arrest and imprisonment at the age of sixteen after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, will reflect upon her experiences as a political prisoner in Iran and the current situation of Iranian women.

"At a time when the exercise of basic rights around the world are being eroded, and given Margaret Laurence's passion and activism around social justice and women's human rights, Marina Nemat is an ideally choice as year's Margaret Laurence Lecturer," said Dr. Colleen O’Manique, chair of the Women’s Studies Department at Trent.

Ms. Nemat spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, was tortured, and came very close to execution. She has made Canada her home since 1991. In 2005 was a finalist in the CBC Literary Awards in the Creative Non-Fiction Category, and in 2006 produced the documentary Walls and Snakes for CBC Radio.

Prisoner of Tehran, a memoir of her life in Iran, was published in Canada by Penguin Press in 2007, and has become an international bestseller, published in 23 countries around the world. The book has been described by Macleans magazine as “one of the finest memoirs ever written by a Canadian,” and the New York Times has called it “a gripping personal history.”

In 2008, Ms. Nemat became the inaugural recipient of the Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament, and today is a fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College, where she is working on a project about the effects of torture on children.

The annual Margaret Laurence Lecture honours Trent’s fourth chancellor, and acknowledges her contributions to literature, feminism, ecology, and the peace movement. Financial support for the 2009 lecture is provided by the Women's Studies Department, the Margaret Laurence Lecture Fund and the Canadian Studies Directorate, Heritage Canada.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture in the Champlain College Senior Common Room.


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Colleen O’Manique, Chair, Women’s Studies, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7966 or