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Book Launch – Exit Prohibited: A Memoir of Iran by Ellen Estilai

October 19, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Inlandia Institute—in partnership with the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California—is proud to announce the launch of Exit Prohibited: A Memoir of Iran by Ellen Estilai, newly published by Inlandia Books. The launch is planned for Thursday, October 19, at 6:30 PM at the Civil Rights Institute of Southern California, 3933 Mission Inn Blvd, Suite 103, in Riverside. Books will be available for sale and signing.

This event is free and open to the public, and will be celebrated with music, refreshments, and conversation. Please join us!

About Exit Prohibited

Exit Prohibited explores a side of Iran and Iranians seldom portrayed in popular media. It follows Ellen Estilai and her family after the 1979 Iranian Revolution as they attempt to leave Tehran, their home of nine years. At the airport, Ali, Ellen’s Iranian husband, is inexplicably prevented from leaving. As he confronts hostile colleagues and the Islamic Republic’s opaque bureaucracy, Estilai examines their lives, trying to understand what might have brought them to this point. It is a story of an Iran that is at once welcoming and hostile, progressive and traditional, enamored of and distrustful of the West—an Iran as complex as Estilai’s relationship to it.

Ellen Estilai has spent much of her career collaborating with artists, writers, and agencies to strengthen communities through the arts.  She has served as the executive director of the Riverside Arts Council and the Arts Council for San Bernardino County, and has taught English language, literature, and writing in universities in Iran and California. Because Ellen and her husband have been immigrants in each other’s countries, her writing frequently explores the joys and tribulations of the immigrant experience.

Inlandia workshops and events are supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. The event is presented in partnership with the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California and is funded in part by a grant from the City of Riverside.



October 19, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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