Shahrnush Parsipur was born in 1946 in Tehran, Iran. She published her first short stories in literary magazines at the age of 16, and went on to write essays, story collections, and several novels. She received her B.A. in sociology from Tehran University in 1973 and studied Chinese language and civilization at the Sorbonne from 1976 to 1980. She was arrested for the first time in 1974, by the Shah’s intelligence agency, and would be jailed three additional times under the Islamic Republic. She began writing Touba and the Meaning of Night while imprisoned in Iran.
Touba and the Meaning of Night was published in Iran in 1989 to great critical acclaim and instant bestseller status until Parsipur was again arrested a year later, and all her works banned by the Islamic Republic.
Parsipur now lives in the USA and writes in exile in the San Francisco Bay area.