Book Fair Authors


Nurhan Atasoy

Impressions of Ottoman Culture in Europe, 1453–1699 (with Lale Uluc) and A Garden for the Sultan: Gardens and Flowers in Ottoman Culture

Dr. Nurhan Atasoy is a Turkish art historian specializing in Ottoman and Islamic art. After earning her degrees from the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at Istanbul University, she served in various university capacities until retiring to become a resident scholar at the Turkish Cultural Foundation. Prof. Dr. Atasoy is the recipient of Turkey’s State Award for Superior Achievement. Among her numerous books are Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey; The Art of Islam; and Ipek: The Crescent and the Rose: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets.


Najmieh Batmanglij

Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies

An Iranian-American chef and writer, Najmieh Batmanglij was born in Tehran. She fled to France with her husband during the revolution and published her first cookbook in French. After moving to the US, she released New Food of Life; Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey, which the New York Times selected as “one of the ten best vegetarian cookbooks of the year”; and Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year. She is a member of Dames d’Escoffiersand has spent thirty years traveling, teaching, cooking, and adapting Persian recipes to fit Western lifestyles.


Monica Bhide

Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen

A food, hospitality, travel, and lifestyle author based in Virginia, Monica Bhide is originally from New Delhi. After attending school in Bahrain and India, she moved to the United States, where she earned two master’s degrees and worked for corporations for ten years. She represents a new generation of cookbook authors who adapt traditional Indian recipes to fit the quicker pace of life today. She has also written The Spice is Right: Easy Indian Cooking for Today and The Everything Indian Cookbook.


Catherine Chung

Forgotten Country

Writer and editor Catherine Chung was born to Korean immigrant parents in Evanston, Illinois. She obtained her MFA in creative writing from Cornell University and has received fellowships from prominent writers’ colonies and conferences. Her debut novel, Forgotten Country, won her starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She is a member of the Birdsong Collective and is on the advisory board of Paris Press.


Louise Cort

Temple Potters of Puri

Louise Cort is the curator of ceramics at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, where she specializes in historical and contemporary ceramics from Japan, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Since 1989 she has been documenting the present-day village-based production of ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia. In addition to writing numerous articles and curating exhibitions, she is the author of Shigaraki Potters Valley. Cort was recently honored by the Smithsonian with the 2012 Secretary’s Distinguished Research Lecture Award and with the Koyama Fujio Memorial Award for her achievement in ceramic research.


Alexandra de Borchgrave

Healing Light: Thirty Messages of Love, Hope, and Courage
Heavenly Order: Twenty-Five Meditations of Wisdom and Harmony
Beloved Spirit: Pathways to Love, Grace, and Mercy

A native of Washington, DC, Alexandra de Borchgrave spent her youth living in Norway, Switzerland, Libya, and Senegal as the daughter of US Ambassador Henry Villard. She attended Brillantmont in Switzerland, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Islamic Institute in Paris, where she met her husband, Arnaud de Borchgrave. She works as a photojournalist, author, poet, and supporter of the arts. Her books serve as a collection of her poetry, illustrated with details from Indian Mughal paintings of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries in Healing Light, sixteenth-century Persian images in Beloved Spirit, and Japanese renaissance art in Heavenly Order.


Thomas Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

Chrysanthemum Stones: The Story of Stone Flowers

Dr. Thomas Elias, a botanist and specialist in Asian gardens, was dendrologist and assistant director of the Cary Arboretum at the New York Botanical Gardens before becoming the director of the U.S. National Arboretum (2003–2009). His publications include The Complete Trees of North America: Field Guide and Natural History; Edible Wild Plants; and Extinction is Forever. His wife, Hiromi Nakaoji, is a native of Kyoto, Japan. She graduated from George Washington University and has been working as an English-Japanese interpreter, translator, and researcher for more than twenty years.


Willem Floor

The Persian Gulf: A Political and Economic History of Five Port Cities, 1500–1730 and The History of Theater in Iran

Willem Floor is a Dutch scholar and writer who specializes in the study of Iran. After attending the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands for development economics, non-Western sociology, Persian, Arabic, and Islamology, he received his PhD from the University of Leyden. He previously served as an energy specialist with the World Bank and is currently an independent scholar and writer. Among the numerous books he has written are The Persian Gulf: The Rise of the Gulf Arabs and Iran and the World in the Safavid Age.


Cynthia Helms

An Intriguing Life: A Memoir of War, Washington, and Marriage to an American Spymaster

Cynthia Helms grew up on a farm in England and was an original Boats’ Crew Wren during World War II. She has enjoyed a unique window into recent American history through her husband, Richard Helms, who served as director of the CIA (1966–73) and held other high-level positions. Mrs. Helms founded Concern Inc., an environmental group aimed at women. In addition to serving on the board of World Resources Institute for fifteen years, she is an Honorary Trustee of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art as well as the Fund for the U.S. Botanical Gardens.


Alice S. Kandell

A Shrine for Tibet: The Alice S. Kandell Collection of Tibetan Sacred Art

Alice S. Kandell is a Harvard-trained child psychologist, author, and photographer whose interest in Himalayan art and culture began in college, when she took the first of many trips to Sikkim, Ladakh, and Nepal. In 1994 she acquired the substantial holdings of collector Philip Rudko. In July 2011 she donated an important collection of Tibetan Buddhist art, including a 220-object shrine, to the Sackler Gallery. Dr. Kandell was appointed to the President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities and is on the board of the International League for Human Rights..


Patti Kim

A Cab Called Reliable

Born in Pusan, Korea, Patti Kim immigrated to the United States with her family when she was four years old. She earned degrees from the University of Maryland before she became a Diane Cleaver Fellow at the Ledwig House. Her first novel, A Cab Called Reliable, won the Towson University Prize for Literature. Her children’s book, Here, is soon to be released.


Mary McFadden

Mary McFadden: A Lifetime of Design, Collecting, and Adventure

Renowned fashion designer, author, and art collector Mary McFadden began her career with Dior, became a freelance writer for Vogue, and eventually started her own studio and fashion collection. She has designed clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, knitwear, and costumes, among other items. Her distinctive collections, based on African prints, Asian silks, and diverse ancient and ethnic cultures, have been shown on runways in New York, Paris, Rome, Milan, and Tokyo. She recently began a new career of cabaret singing at clubs around the world.


Willamarie Moore

All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More

Willamarie Moore is a writer, educator, lecturer, and museum administrator specializing in children’s programs in East Asian studies and culture. After working for the government as a translator and teacher, and receiving a master’s degree in anthropology from George Washington University, she moved to Boston to become the manager of East Asian programs at the Children’s Museum. She now serves as adjunct professor at Framingham State College and Urban College of Boston.


Kyoko Mori

Yarn: Remembering the Way Home

Kyoko Mori was born in Kobe, Japan, and moved to the United States at the age of twenty. She was a Briggs-Copeland lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University prior to joining the faculty of George Mason University. She has written three novels—Shizuko’s Daughter; One Bird; and Stone Field, True Arrow—as well as three nonfiction books—The Dream of Water; Polite Lies; andher most recent memoir Yarn: Remembering the Way Home.


Azar Nafisi

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books and Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter

Azar Nafisi is an Iranian-born author, scholar, and advocate for women’s rights. After earning her PhD from the University of Oklahoma, she returned to Iran in 1979 to teach English literature at the University of Tehran. She returned to the US in 1997 and became a visiting professor and director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. At SAIS she teaches courses on the relationship between culture and politics. Her forthcoming book is titled That Other World: Nabokov and the Puzzle of Exile.


Sanjay Patel

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth

Currently supervising animator and storyboard artist for Pixar Animation Studios, Sanjay Patel moved with his family at age six from England to Southern California, where his art teacher noticed his remarkable talents. Patel received a scholarship to CalArts, and Pixar recruited him in 1996 after seeing his student film. His films for Pixar include A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Cars, andthe Toy Story films. Among his other publications are The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow and Ramayana: Divine Loophole.


Helen Philon

Silent Splendors: Palaces of the Deccan, 14th–19th Centuries and Discovering the Deccan (with George Michell)

An American-born academic and writer, Helen Philon was educated at the Ecole du Louvre and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She established the department of Islamic art at the Benaki Museum in Athens, where she served as a curator for several years. In addition to being a trustee of the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage, Dr. Philon was a study leader for international travel tours. Her husband, Alexander Philon, is the former Greek ambassador to India (1989–93) and the United States (1998–2002).


Qiu Xiaolong

Don’t Cry, Tai Lake: An Inspector Chen Novel and Years of Red Dust: Stories of Shanghai

Author Qiu Xiaolong writes short stories, poetry, and novels set in his native China. His translation work on T.S. Eliot brought him to the US on a Ford Foundation grant in 1988. He received his PhD in comparative literature from Washington University in St. Louis, where he taught for several years and now serves on the board of the Humanity Center. In 2001 Qiu won the Anthony Award for his novel Death of a Red Heroine, the first of his Inspector Chen series.His books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into more than twenty languages.


Vaddey Ratner

In the Shadow of the Banyan

Vaddey Ratner was five years old when the Khymer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. For years she and her mother endured forced labor and refugee camps. They eventually settled in Minneapolis, and Ratner graduated from Cornell University, where she specialized in Southeast Asian history and literature. She spends her time writing, researching, and traveling back to Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Her debut novel is a New York Times bestseller and is being translated into several languages.


David Shambaugh

Tangled Titans: The United States and China

An international authority on contemporary China and international relations with Asia, David Shambaugh is a professor of political science and international affairs and the founding director of the China Policy Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He received advanced degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program and Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Shambaugh has written twenty-five books, including the forthcoming China Goes Global: The Partial Power.


Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

A Tiger in the Kitchen

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is a food, fashion, and travel writer based in New York. Born in Singapore, she moved to the US to study journalism at Northwestern University. She began her career covering metro news and cops at the Baltimore Sun and became a senior fashion writer for In Style magazine. An active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, her stories have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Strait Times. Her book is a “culinary memoir” of her efforts to understand her ancestry by cooking with the women in her family.


Tom Vick

Asian Cinema: A Field Guide

An expert in Asian film, Tom Vick is the curator of film at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. He holds degrees from Purchase College and the California Institute of the Arts. Formerly Vick was the coordinator of film programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He served on the jury of the 2010 Korean Film Festival in Los Angeles and recently was a consultant and panelist for the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. His book provides an insightful overview of the dynamic world of Asian cinema.