Homa Pourasgari

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Born in Tehran, Iran, Homa Pourasgari spent hours in her father’s home office, writing, reading and letting her imagination carry her to unseen worlds. She moved to United States at a young age. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in business, she left for Paris to study literature at the Sorbonne. Her first book, Lemon Curd, was nominated Forward Magazine’s Book of the Year Award finalist. Her second book, The Dawn of Saudi, won Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award. She lives in Los Angeles, California. When she is not writing, she is stumbling, miming and pointing to find her way in a foreign country. Her latest novel, The American Outsider, is based on her travels to Japan.



BY Homa Pourasgari • POSTED ON Jan. 23, 2023

A California veterinarian travels to Japan to protest animal slaughter and meets a carefree executive in Pourasgari’s novel.

American Tessa Walker visited her aunt in Japan when she was young and has since been haunted by a particular memory: In coastal Taiji, when she was 16, she witnessed the slaughter of dolphins in a bloody bay. Now 40, she’s still troubled by the recollection and plans a trip to Japan to protest the commercial killing of dolphins and whales: “It was personal. For her, it had all started in Japan, and it would have to end here.” Upon arrival, her friend Akira, an American who lives in Tokyo, shows her around and teaches her about complexities of Japanese culture, including specific traditions of gift giving. While alone one day, a drunk, obnoxious man, out with his buddies, grabs and kisses Tessa on a dare. She feels violated, slaps him, and tells him off. Sometime later, she sees him again on the street and grabs and kisses him in front of his girlfriend to embarrass him. She eventually finds out that he’s the son of the co-owner of a clothing corporation. Tessa initially sees him as rich and spoiled but finds herself intrigued by him, and the feeling is mutual. As the day of the protest approaches, she’s opened Toshiro’s eyes to the issue but has also attracted the attention of the police, who watch her closely. Pourasgari presents a multifaceted novel that is as much about travel and culture clashes as it is an unexpected story of a relationship, with a protagonist who brings a refreshingly seasoned perspective to the proceedings. As a veterinarian, Tessa’s concern for animals is convincing and heartfelt. Toshiro’s introduction, achieved through unlikely chance meetings in Tokyo, is handled in a clunky manner, but his role develops and becomes more complicated as the book goes on, and his feelings about visitors from abroad add complexity. Tessa’s exposure to and ruminations on Japan’s culture are also carefully considered.

An often appealing, well-informed novel about cultural differences and animal rights.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2023

ISBN: 9780977978045

Page count: 456pp

Publisher: Linbrook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2022

The American Outsider Book Trailer

Awards, Press & Interests

Day job


Favorite author

John Grisham

Favorite book


Favorite line from a book

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Favorite word



Los angeles

Passion in life

To give voice to the voiceless through ficiton

Unexpected skill or talent

Leadership skills

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