Cry of the Peacock

Gina Barkhordar-Nahai, Author, Gina Barkhordar Nahai, Author Crown Publishers $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57479-9
Nahai begins her vivid, intriguing historical chronicle in the 1780s in Persia and concludes 200 years later in contemporary Iran. Following a family of Jews through seven generations, from Juyy Bar, the Jewish ghetto of Esfahan, to America, she begins with Esther the Soothsayer. Versed in magic and witchcraft Esther can foretell the future. She appears in the dreams and visions of her progeny, including her granddaughter, Peacock, born in the late 1860s, whose life spans well over a century. Nahai weaves together the brutal history of Muslims, Jews, the shahs and colonial forces that played a part in transforming Persia into Iran, using fables and legends to give much of the novel an exotic, fairy-tale effect. But as the story reaches the 20th century, readers will encounter the exiled Pahlavi shah, Mossadeq and Khomeini, and recognize recent events. Nahai succeeds in personalizing history, opening a window onto the baffling political history of Iran and its neighbors. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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