December 2019


Three Asian Divas: Women, Art and Culture in

Shiraz, Delhi and Yangzhou

Book launch and talk by David Chaffetz


Dancing Girl with Castanets © Hermitage Museum


Date & Time

Wednesday 29th January 2020




Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street

London W1G 7LP


Organised by

The Iran Heritage Foundation


Wherever poetry, music and mime have been practised, great women performers have always take centre stage, and while the great divas of Mozart and Puccini are much recognised and understood among English language readers, traditional Asian divas are less known. In his new book, Three Asian Divas, David Chaffetz explores the timeless significance for art and culture of the virtuoso women performers of Iran, India and China. 

In this talk, David will share his pursuit of the Iranian diva, about whom many experts on Iran advised him “she didn’t exist”. Using literary and historical sources, and drawing comparisons with other Asian cultures, David hopes to bring back to life this dazzling artist and point to her importance for our understanding the music and poetry of Iran.

Signed copies of the book will be available to buy after the talk (cash only).​

David Chaffetz read Persian, Turkish and Arabic at Harvard University with Wheeler Thackston, Richard Frye, Anne-Marie Schimmel, Şinasi Tekin, and Stuart Cary Welch. He then went on to work for the Encyclopaedia Iranica under Ehsan Yarshater. He has travelled extensively over a period of 45 years across India, Central Asia and China. In 2006 he published his book A Journey through Afghanistan (Chicago, 2006).

Tickets & info

Tickets: This event is free but registration is essential book now

The talk will start promptly at 18.30 so please ensure you arrive on time
For any inquiries please contact, Tel: 020 3651 2121

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