News release: Debut novel by Catherine Dehdashti brings together Iranian matriarch, Minnesota waitress


Website: (cover and author images, author Q&A, video book trailer, recipes). Review copy available upon request to journalists.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (4/23/2015) —Minnesota writer Catherine Dehdashti has released her debut novel, Roseheart.

A story about family, Roseheart is set in the 1990s, and told through the sardonic voice of Valerie Kjos. She’s a young Midwestern Gen X’er whose life is just barely coming together with her boyfriend when his Iranian mother, Goli, comes for a visit that seems to never end.

Valerie will have to decide what’s more important to her—doing everything her own way, or her beloved Naveed with his live-in mother, who might not approve if she knew everything about her. But as she’s about to learn, Goli has secrets of her own.

“Sometimes funny, often moving, Roseheart is a novel that reads like a diary, and also like a mystery, as the story builds toward a surprising revelation,” says Jeremy Iggers, a long-time Minneapolis journalist and author. “And for anyone with a fondness for or curiosity about Persian culture and cuisine, Roseheart offers special rewards.”

While it is fiction, Dehdashti admits the novel is semi-autobiographical, taking place in Wayzata, around Lake Minnetonka, and Minneapolis during the era of her own coming-of-age. “I was faced with a situation much like Valerie’s: my boyfriend’s mother came from Iran for a “visit,” by which I mean she moved in with us,” says Dehdashti. “She never learned much English, but she changed my life.”

Dehdashti (born Catherine Kjos) grew up in Plymouth, Minn., attending Wayzata public schools and the University of Minnesota. She has written for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Midwest Living,, the Minnesota Daily, and many other publications. Nowadays, she lives in Eagan, Minn., with her husband and their two children.

With its many culinary vignettes, Roseheart tends to make readers hungry. To find recipes for some of the dishes that appear in the novel, visit

Her first public readings will be at Cracked Walnut Literary Festival events, May 5 at 7 p.m. at the Richfield Community Center in Richfield, Minn., and June 6 at 7 p.m. at the Steam Café in Rochester, Minn.

Book Facts
Title: Roseheart
Publisher: Causy Taylor Literary Publishing
Print: ISBN 978-0-9863686-7-7 $14.99, 304 pages, 6″x 9″ paperback
Kindle ASIN: B00UPVHRKU $9.99
Library of Congress control number 2015901342



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