Samarghandi, Shahzoda


Shahzoda Samarqandi Nazarova was born in 1975 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Soviet Union) is a young Tajik writer, journalist and first Tajik blogger.

Called ‘taboo-breaking… revolutionary” by RFE/RL, Stockholm Syndrome is one of the most controversial books to emerge from Tajik society in recent years. The story of a young woman’s struggle to choose between her career and motherhood, the novella shocked this traditional and conservative society. A remembrance of childhood and rumination upon challenges present and future, Nazarova’s work explores themes of immigration, identity and mental imbalance. Acclaimed as ‘ahead of its time’ by Persian reviewers, Stockholm Syndrome is an emotional tour de force.

Winner of the Best Female Author award at the Eurasian Literary Book Festival, Nazarova has been featured in BBC Persian’s “100 Most Influential Women.” Brought to international recognition by her novels Motherland and Registan – ‘one of the highest picks of prose in Tajik literature,’ – she is also the founder of Chashme Del, the first television programme in Samarkand to be broadcast in the Tajik language.

Nazarova represents a minority of Tajiks, Persian speaking people in Central Asia, who are subject of government suppression since the formation of the Soviet Union and the geographical division of Turkistan into several smaller countries in what is currently Central-Asia. Her focus on women’s issues and sexuality were widely criticized, as she is trying to be the unheard voice of her people. Coming out of a collective society and discovering deep personal emotions is something new to the Central-Asian reader, who are accustomed to Soviet Realism.

None Nazarova’s novels have been allowed to be published in her homeland Uzbekistan, while her works are published several times in both original and translation in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Dushanbe and Kabul in Persian, Russian and English.

An avid campaigner against all forms of censorship, Nazarova has worked at newspapers in Samarkand and for the BBC Persian Service. Resident in Holland for the past eleven years, she is currently editor for the Central Asian and Afghanistan regions at Radio Zamaneh.


Stockholm Syndrome a novel (Paris, 2007)

Motherland, a novel (London, 2013)

Registan, a novel (London, 2016)

Samarghandi, Shahzoda

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