About Esther

Esther Amini is a writer, painter, and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice. Her short stories have appeared in Elle, Lilith, Tablet, The Jewish Week, Barnard Magazine, Washburn University’s Inscape Literary Journal, and Proximity. She was named one of Aspen Words’ two best emerging memoirists and awarded its Emerging Writer Fellowship in 2016 based on her memoir entitled: “Concealed” and was chosen by JWT as their Artist-in-Residence in 2019. Her pieces have been performed by Jewish Women’s Theatre in Los Angeles and in Manhattan.

Esther Amini lives in New York City with her husband.
Concealed is her debut memoir.


“A moving, honest, and compelling memoir that unveils the little-known world of Persian-Jewish immigrants in America in the 1950s and 1960s. Amini’s storytelling is masterful, her prose poignant, and her characters leap off the page right into your heart.”

- Ronda Spinak, Co-founder and Artistic Director, Jewish Women’s Theatre


Concealed is an extraordinarily eloquent narrative that provides a humanizing glimpse of the underground Jews of Iran, their story of oppression and assimilation, and how a gifted, intelligent girl growing up in the States struggles to reclaim the past while propelling herself into the future. Amini’s dignified, honest, and probing voice resonates throughout her journey of self-discovery.”

- Angella M. Nazarian, author of Pioneers of the Possible, Visionary Women, and Life as a Visitor


“Are we what we reveal? Is our hidden self ours? Are nature and nurture adversaries? Esther Amini has written a unique, courageous, heart-wrenching, and humbling memoir in which gender, religion, country, and individual character battle it all out. I couldn’t stop reading.”

-Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words


“In this beautifully crafted memoir, Esther Amini weaves a riveting portrait of her family life as the daughter of Iranian-Jewish immigrants in New York City struggling to emerge from the shadows of medieval Mashhad. It is a life fraught with contradictions, a constant push-pull between tradition, trauma, and the need to be free. It is a deeply personal tale, painfully honest and brilliantly told.”

-Susan Mailer, psychoanalyst and author of In Another Place with and without my Father, Norman Mailer


“Concealed is a heart-wrenching, coming-of-age memoir by the daughter of hidden Iranian Jews who immigrate to America but never escape the emotional prison of their previous existence. Esther Amini grapples with the shadow of the chador even while tasting Western freedom. You will cheer for her as you ponder the eternal question: how do we survive our families?”

-Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise and The Widow Waltz


“Concealed is Esther Amini’s remarkable account of growing up in a house where books and education are for boys and a prearranged and stultifying marriage is supposed to be her destiny. It chronicles the journey of a sensitive and curious girl who from childhood has to create her own story. Against her parents’ wishes and cultural mores, Amini not only survives but thrives and reinvents herself in extraordinary ways. Lucky for us she grew up to be a writer with a keen eye and ear who has produced a wonderful memoir.”

-Patty Dann, author of Mermaids, Starfish, and The Butterfly Hours