THE AGE OF ORPHANS by Laleh Khadivi

A young Kurdish boy, living in the Zagros Mountains in 1921, has always felt loved and protected, despite his family’s “poverty.” He enjoys “flying” from the roof of the family’s hut, experiencing the soaring feelings of earth and heaven at the same time, and identifying with the falcons. “With his chest opened upward, he pushes his face deeper into the beam of sun and wishes for his thin bones and narrow shoulders to aspire among the chaotic open-aired thrash of wings, to fly high and above the hemmed land and sweep aloft the delineations marked out of him, on him, into him” as a Kurd. In gorgeous and poetic language, author Laleh Khadivi, recreates the “gloried ground” to which the boy is connected by birth and culture.

September 20, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Iran, Middle East, Whiting, World Lit

THE PROOF OF THE HONEY by Salwa Al Neimi

The nameless seductress of THE PROOF OF HONEY declares, “In my life I have been addicted to beds and stories.” She has studied the classical Arabic erotica of al-Suyuti and al-Nafzawi, as well the Kama Sutra and Western works by Casanova, Henry Miller, and Georges Bataille. She also makes wild and saucy claims of having taken numerous lovers of both genders. These then form the bases of her addictions and a discernable core to her wandering writings about sex in the Near East.

August 8, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, Iran, Translated, Unique Narrative, World Lit

ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN by Mahbod Seraji

ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN is both a bittersweet coming of age tale as well as a story of the tragic loss of innocence.

July 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Iran, World Lit

CENSORING AN IRANIAN LOVE STORY by Shahriar Mandanipour

When I picked up this book, written by a popular Iranian author, my only expectation was that it would be an interesting view of life in Iran today, and, in particular, the life of a writer trying to avoid the “thought police.” What I never expected is that the book is so funny! Witty, cleverly constructed, satiric, and full of the absurdities that always underlie great satire, CENSORING AN IRANIAN LOVE STORY is a unique metafiction that draws in the reader, sits him down in the company of an immensely talented and very charming author, and completely enthralls him.

June 18, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Humorous, Iran, Literary, Reading Guide, Translated, Unique Narrative, World Lit