Lila Azam Zanganeh was born in Paris. She has taught literature, cinema, and Romance languages at Harvard University. She now writes and lives in New York City.

Before she could publish The Enchanter, her book about novelist Vladimir Nabokov, Lila Azam Zanganeh needed the permission of the author’s son, Dmitri, who died last week at the age of 77. Here she tells the story of her nights spent reading to him in Palm Beach—and learning about his family, and remembering her own.

The Academy Award nominee is set to play an Afghan activist who fought for women’s rights under the Taliban in SEVEN, the play opening The Daily Beast’s Women in the World summit this month. Lila Azam Zanganeh on the actress’ unexpected rise to stardom.

Shohreh Aghdashloo shows the dark side of life for Iranian women in the explosive film The Stoning of Soraya M., and hopes to inspire a new generation of Muslim women.