HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Abdi Nazemian

Award-Winning Author, Screenwriter, & Film/TV Producer


  • Iranian-American History and Identity
  • Queer History and Identity
  • The Power of Creativity
  • Diversity in TV, Film, and Publishing
  • Writing Workshops in Film, TV, or Prose
  • Queer Parenting


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Abdi Nazemian spent his childhood in a series of exciting locations (Tehran, Paris, Toronto, New York), but could usually be found in his bedroom watching old movies and reading. A creative tour de force, Nazemian is a screenwriter, film/tv producer, and the award-winning author of The Walk-In Closet, The Authentics (Balzer + Bray), and most recently, Like a Love Story (Balzer + Bray).

Nazemian’s books have received numerous accolades and recognition for their powerful stories of friendship, love, family, and identity. His first novel, The Walk-In Closet was awarded Best Debut at the Lambda Literary Awards. In 2020, Nazemian’s Like a Love Story was named a Stonewall Honor Book, an Indie Next Pick, Junior Library Guild Selection, and a best book of the year from EW, Audible, Buzzfeed, YALSA, NYPL and more.

Nazemian has written for two television shows: Fox’s Almost Family, and NBC’s The Village. He has written five produced films: The Artist’s Wife (Strand Releasing, 2020), Menendez: Blood Brothers (Lifetime, 2017), The Quiet (Sony Pictures Classics, 2006), Celeste in the City (ABC Family, 2004), and Beautiful Girl (ABC FAMILY, 2003). He also wrote, directed and produced the short film Revolution (2012). He is proud to say that his words have been spoken by the likes of Carmela Soprano, The Nanny, and The Girl With The Most Cake. As Head of Development for Water’s End Productions, Abdi has been an executive producer or associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me By Your Name, It Happened in L.A., The Price, The House of Tomorrow, and Little Woods.

Whether its presenting a keynote on Iranian or Queer identity or creating diverse content in film, TV and publishing, Nazemian’s presentations will charm you, enlighten you, and create a conversation.

Nazemian lives in Los Angeles with his two children and husband and holds dual citizenship between the United States and Canada. He speaks English, Spanish, French and Farsi, and is proficient in Italian. He is not the inspiration for Madonna’s children’s book “The Adventures of Abdi,” though he will forever insist that he is.

Praise for Abdi Nazemian:

“Abdi spoke to the students at my school on several occasions, in different formats, and to both a small crowd and a group of 100 9th graders. In both arenas, Abdi tailored his topic to be relevant and interesting, and engaged both groups for a good chunk of time. He is equally adept at leading small, intimate conversations about identity as he is giving large, informative and scholarly presentations on his craft. Our students responded positively to his time with them, and his talks provided much fodder for classroom conversations. I cannot recommend Abdi highly enough; if you have the chance to book him at your school, take it! The students will thank you for it.”
-- Jill Hanson Dash, Viewpoint School

Praise for Like a Love Story:

“Nazemian paints a picture of late ‘80s queer life in New York City that’s neither romanticized nor viewed as only tragic…. [His] latest will remind readers that first love is isolating and unifying, exhilarating and terrifying, and every paradox in between.”
-- ALA Booklist (starred review)

“Three characters discover their inner truths at a time that sometimes feels apocalyptic for their community and loved ones…. The intense and nuanced emotions evoked by the characters’ journeys help to give this powerful novel by Nazemian a timeless relevance.”
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“At the height of the 1980s AIDS crisis, three teens grapple with love and friendship…. [A] truly lovely romance to cherish. Deeply moving.”
-- Kirkus Reviews

“A book for warriors, divas, artists, queens, individuals, activists, trend setters, and anyone searching for the courage to be themselves.”
-- Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Like a Love Story is a fresh and poignant narrative about friends, family, friends who become family, and a society that is not always compassionate to those who need it most. I love this book with my entire heart. What a gift Abdi Nazemian has given us.”
-- Brandy Colbert, author of Stonewall Award winner Little & Lion

“A gorgeous, heart-wrenching book that explores love, loss, and forgiveness in all of their many forms. Abdi Nazemian deftly shows how we can only move forward by examining and embracing the past, and how anger and injustice can pave the way for a better and more hopeful future.”
-- Robin Benway, National Book Award–winning author of Far from the Tree

Like a Love Story brought me right back to the scene of my teen years... and it did so masterfully. This book made me sob, it made me laugh, it broke my heart and put it back together again. I absolutely loved it.”
-- Bill Konigsberg, Award-Winning Author of The Music of What Happens

Praise for The Authentics:

“As with the novels of Benjamin Alire Saenz or Randa Abdel-Fattah, Daria’s thought-provoking journey will resonate with teen readers of all backgrounds.”
-- Booklist (starred review)

“The ferociously authentic Daria is a memorable protagonist”
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A beautiful and compelling story about identity, race, and family love. A must read in an age where #weneeddiversebooks more than ever.”
-- Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times bestselling author

“A charming and touching examination of everything that makes us who we are.”
-- Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes

“Will resonate with readers who have felt like they don’t know where they belong or who they want to be, and certainly with the children of immigrants who feel caught between worlds.”
-- Publishers Weekly

“Surprisingly powerful…will appeal to any reader searching for identity and belonging, particularly those whose lives include two different cultures.”
-- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)