"China Girl" Author Reveals Own Abuse Through Novel's Character

NBC Universal exec and author Sophie Mokhtari exposes childhood abuses and commits to advocating for women’s issues with the release of her first novel, “China Girl: A Daughter’s Journey,” this August.
By: Writers of the Round Table Press
 
 
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June 23, 2008 - PRLog -- LOS ANGELES – For 25 years, Sophie Mokhtari hid her shame. It has taken another five years of a long personal and emotion journey for the NBC Universal executive to talk about her father molesting her. Recently in her blog (http://www.chinagirlbook.com), Mokhtari for the first time acknowledged that the character, Lily, in her novel “China Girl: A Daughter’s Journey,” is, in fact, based on her, and that Lily’s heart-wrenching story is her own. The novel, the first in The Lemonade Series, is due for release from Writers of the Round Table Press in August, which coincides with the launch of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

“I believe this story had to be told and that we need to acknowledge that these issues are real and horrible,” said Mokhtari from her Brentwood home. “When we look at the statistics, one in six women is sexually assaulted. Through exposure and conversations, we can not only recover, but become stronger people. Victims feel shameful, guilty and helpless, but we do not have to remain in that darkness. There are resources out there to help and people to talk and relate to because they also have personal experiences to share. My book is here to engage people in this conversation and to bring our mutual shame into the light where we can heal.”

Like Lily, Mokhtari was the product of an unwanted teenage pregnancy, left behind when her parents were sent to the U.S. from their home in Hong Kong, only to be reunited with them years later, a stranger in a home that lacked love and laughter. From a young age, she was molested by her alcoholic father and seemingly unwanted by her mother. Mokhtari has now come forward to share her story with others who need to know that they are not alone in their secret pain.

“I have not written this out of anger,” said Mokhtari. “This book and this message are for the world. This is for those who cannot speak and cannot hear. For me, I needed some sort of closure of this part of my life, so a year ago I told my father that I forgave him. Forgiveness is for ourselves as well. The more negative energy you can eliminate, the more successful you can be.”

In addition to being director of logistics for NBC Universal and an author, Mokhtari is a wife, and mother to a teenage girl, who is about the same age as Mokhtari was when her father molested her. Mokhtari strongly believes that the truth could not, and should not be hidden, which is why she has committed herself to telling her story through Lily now.

“I decided that a story of fiction versus an autobiography could be more personal and would be more palatable to readers,” said Mokhtari. “The words themselves reflect such ugly deeds. Lily is very much like me. And she battles with the same demons that I did because of our fathers.”

“China Girl” tells the story of two women - a mother and daughter - who are raised in a culture that demands silence. Each one endures a series of life-altering events, including alcoholism, unwanted pregnancy, incest, sexual abuse, and abandonment.

“My guess is that there has never been an Asian woman who has stood up and said, ‘this happened to me,’” said Mokhtari. “The Asian culture is very much about honor, but it shouldn’t be alright to suppress things that are real. Women shouldn’t have to forget their own identity, emotions and feelings. I want to talk about this now and get past the part of denial. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight though. It has been a 30-year journey for me.”

To learn more about Mokhtari’s stories, both personal and fictional, visit http://www.chinagirlbook.com. For interviews with Mokhtari or to request an advance copy for review, contact Sue Publicover, 207.752.4802 sue@writersoftheroundtable.com or Kim Jackson, 802.345.9730 kim@writersoftheroundtable.com.

ABOUT SOPHIE MOKHTARI
Sophie was born in Hong Kong. At an early age, she was taken from the grandparents who were raising her and sent to the United States to live with the parents she barely knew. Adjusting to life in America was, at times, difficult for Sophie who lived with an alcoholic and sexually abusive father and a mother trying to survive her own difficult reality. To escape the harsh environment of abuse and neglect, Sophie spent countless hours in the library, reading volumes of fairy tales, books of adventure, and stories about foreign countries.

After graduating from the University of Delaware with a BA in International Relations, she drove across the country to Los Angeles with just a few hundred dollars in her pocket and two suitcases of belongings – and a young man who later became her husband. After working as a travel agent for the largest agency in the U.S., and enjoying the perk of being able to travel and explore 27 countries, she moved on to NBC Universal where today she is director of logistics.

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Writers of the Round Table Inc., helmed by Chairman of the Dream Corey Blake, is a full-service writing company specializing in the development, marketing, and distribution of exceptionally written content. Its goal is to partner with powerful leaders from all walks of life who have the immense desire to make a difference in the lives of others and to do so through books. Clients are guided through the process of creating something truly remarkable that will change and influence lives in a positive way and on a massive scale. For more information, visit http://www.writersoftheroundtable.com.
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