Women Lead 2022: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi and stories that shape identity

Author: Beth Staples

On the pages of her novels, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi creates female characters who insist on being themselves. That’s something the award-winning writer and Notre Dame faculty member knows quite a bit about. 

Growing up in Iran — a country where laws restricted her mobility because of her gender — she loved marching by herself through a deep eucalyptus forest to go to the beach on the Caspian Sea.

“I have a very adventurous spirit,” said Van der Vliet Oloomi, an associate professor of English and the MFA in Creative Writing Program. “I write female characters who are equally themselves. They insist on being who they are in the world.”