My Bird

Fariba Vafi, Author, Mahnaz Kousha, Translator, Nasrin Jewell, Translator , trans. from the Farsi by Mahnaz Kousha and Nasrin Jewell. Syracuse Univ. $24.95 (150p) ISBN 978-0-8156-0944-5

A big success when it was originally published in Iran, this slender book will likely disappoint Western readers interested in new perspectives on the lives of contemporary Iranian women. It's narrated by a nameless Iranian wife and mother whose husband, Amir, is obsessed with emigrating to Canada. The narrator, however, is unwilling to do more than stare into their dusty yard. Her refusal to move forward leads him to leave Tehran with the excuse that he can make more money elsewhere. While he's gone, she deals with her two young children, overlooks her husband's infidelity, combs through her sad and confusing childhood memories and determines that her way of coping is to stay in place and accept her situation. Unfortunately, the writing is so thoroughly introspective that the book could have been set in any grimy working-class neighborhood with loud neighbors, marital discord and selfish, demanding relatives. While the translation is lovely, the narrative is unnervingly myopic and mostly notable for its inertia. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/28/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 161 pages - 978-0-8156-5141-3
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-8156-0795-3
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