In Focus

ZARIN MOHSENIN: WRITING

It’s not easy to write a creative story. Sure, we’ve all written essays analyzing characters in literature. But producing entirely novel ideas is tough. It’s tougher when the ideas have to have substance and a plot. And it’s tougher still to make it worth reading. It takes a set of skills that can’t be taught in an 87-minute class. Or a semester of 87-minute classes, for that matter. Junior Zarin Mohsenin, however, posesses those skills. She wrote a story that featured a protagonist with a disease called prosopagnosia — the inability to recognize faces. She heard about the disease from an episode of “60 Minutes” and has thought about it since.

“It was difficult to write the protagonist as a person with prosopagnosia, because it is a very complex disease, [but] I loved writing this story because it was a challenge to make it more than a story about someone with the disease,” Mohsenin said.

Mohsenin may have loved writing it, but judges at
the Palo Alto Weekly loved reading it. She won third place in their Short Story Contest; to honor her work, the publication featured her story on their website and recorded Mohsenin reading her story. In addition, she received a $50 gift certificate in recognition
of her achievement.

Interview and photo by Alex Dagman.

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