Persian Girls

Nahid Rachlin, Author . Tarcher $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58542-520-4

This lyrical and disturbing memoir by the author of four novels (Foreigner , etc.) tells the story of an Iranian girl growing up in a culture where, despite the Westernizing reforms of the Shah, women had little power or autonomy. As an infant in 1946, Rachlin was given to her mother's favorite sister, a widow who had been unable to conceive, and was lovingly raised among supportive widows who took refuge in religion from their frustrations as women in an oppressive society. But at the age of nine, Rachlin's father, whom she barely knew, met her at school without warning and brought her to Ahvaz to live with her birth family. Miserable in the new household, young Nahid was befriended by her American movie–obsessed sister Pari. Both sisters developed artistic ambitions, but only Nahid managed to escape the typical female fate, convincing her father to send her to college in the U.S. Less lucky is Pari, whose life of arranged marriage, divorce from an abusive husband and estrangement from her son ends in depression and early death. Exuding the melancholy of an outsider, this memoir gives American readers rare insight into Iranians' ambivalence toward the United States, the desire for American freedom clashing with resentment of American hegemony. (Oct. 5)

Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Paperback - 293 pages - 978-1-58542-623-2
Open Ebook - 978-1-4406-1065-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-4406-1131-5
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-101-00770-9
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