How James Lasdun Found Himself Victimized by Anti-Semitic Cyber-Stalker

Writing Was Author's Escape From Non-Stop Online Abuse

Kurt Hoffman

By Naomi Zeveloff

Published February 25, 2013, issue of March 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 5)

Nasreen claimed that Lasdun and his agent, who is also Jewish, were part of a Zionist cabal that stole her manuscript and sold it to a few Jewish Iranian authors who were publishing on similar topics at the time, such as the novelist Gina Nahai. Nasreen accused the non-Jewish freelance editor of co-conspiracy.

Nasreen’s anti-Semitism makes the stalking case atypical. And in fact, Lasdun is an atypical victim. Most people who are stalked are women, and in many cases, the people who do the stalking are their jilted male lovers. Anti-Semitism, or the notion of “Jew versus Arab,” may have been a “ready-made” narrative for Nasreen to plug into, said Brian Spitzberg, a San Diego State University professor who studies stalking.

“If she has been traumatized and victimized, she needs someone to view as guilty,” he said. “She has figured it out, and she has to exact the kind of trauma on him that was exacted on her.”

“I thought she must be having some very strange sort of breakdown and she is going to be deeply embarrassed, but she just kept doubling down,” Lasdun said during our interview. “This is pure conjecture, but I felt she put [the anti-Semitism] out there as a sort of shock thing, and then somehow, possibly out of shame or guilt, she kind of cornered herself. ‘Did I say that? Okay, well that is what I am going to be from now on, and I am going to say it louder and louder.’”

Nasreen also claimed that Lasdun orchestrated her rape by a co-worker, that he repurposed ideas she shared with him in a short story and that he used her emails in his work. (This last point, of course, became true with the publication of Lasdun’s book, which contains dozens of Nasreen’s email messages. Lasdun, however, sees it only as a “superficial irony or paradox”: “I feel because I am justified in telling the story, I am justified in using the emails.”)

Nasreen went public with these and other complaints in the comments section of his book pages on Amazon.com and Goodreads. She also wrote a lengthy email to his boss at a college near Woodstock, enumerating her many grievances.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.