Before Navied Mahdavian moved with his wife and dog in November of 2016 from San Francisco to an off-the-grid cabin in rural Idaho, he had never fished, gardened, hiked, hunted, or lived in a snowy place. But there, he could own land, realize his dream of being an artist, and start a family—the Millennial dream. Over the next three years, Mahdavian leaned into the wonders of the natural Idaho landscape and found himself adjusting to and enjoying a slower pace of living. But beyond the boundaries of his six acres, he was confronted with the realities of America’s political shifts and forced to confront the question: Do I belong here?
Mahdavian’s beautifully written and unflinchingly honest graphic memoir charts his growth and struggles as an artist, citizen, and new father. It celebrates his love of place and honors the relationships he makes in rural America, touching on dynamics like culture, environment, and identity in America, and even articulating difficult moments of racism and brutality he found there as a Middle Eastern American. With wit, compassion, and a sense of humor, Mahdavian’s insider perspective offers a unique portrait of one of the most remote and wild areas of the American West.
"In Mahdavian's hands, comics feel like poetry. Perfect ink drawings bring land, beast, and humans, with all their delicacy and yearning, viscerally to life. This Country … made me want to grant my own surroundings the grace, humor, and dignity of Mahdavian's observant study." —Amy Kurzweil, cartoonist and author of Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir
NAVIED MAHDAVIAN has been a contributing cartoonist to The New Yorker since 2018, where his cartoons and comics appear regularly. His work has also been featured in the LA Times, Reader's Digest, Wired, Alta Online, and in the cartoon collections, The Rejection Collection (2022) and Send Help!(2021). Before becoming a cartoonist, he taught the 5th grade in the East Bay where he learned most of his jokes.
AMY KURZWEIL is a cartoonist who is the author of two graphic memoirs: Flying Couch (2016) and her new book, Artificial: A Love Story (2023). Flying Couch was named a 2016 New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Kirkus Best Memoir of 2016. Her comics appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Believer, and elsewhere. Her prose has appeared in Longreads, Literary Hub, The Toast, and other publications.
THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:00 pm on October 19th.
BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.
DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.
WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.
WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.
PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.
OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.