Missing Soluch

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Author, Kamran Rastegar, Translator , trans. from the Farsi by Kamran Rastegar. Melville $16.95 (507p) ISBN 978-1-933633-11-4

This stark but engrossing portrait of contemporary rural Iran by Dowlatabadi, an acclaimed Iranian writer and outspoken proponent of artistic freedom, arrives under the auspices of the Association of American Publishers' Freedom to Publish Committee. A saga set in an isolated Iranian village, it concerns a family whose patriarch, Soluch, has recently disappeared, leaving his wife, two sons and one daughter desperate. The remaining family's struggle for survival runs smack up against a sinister plan from local wealthy landowners who are conspiring to usurp the remaining unclaimed land in the village—a barren, intractable plot known as "God's Land" that has been traditionally tended by the poor. The scheme divides the family, as Mergan, the matriarch, clings ferociously to her portion, while her sons, Abbas and Abrau, sell off theirs for petty change. At age 12, Hajer, the daughter, is forced to marry an older man for sustenance; she is bound and raped on her wedding night and thereafter imprisoned in her husband's home. Mergan, who is also raped, toils to keep her house in order for the day that her beloved Soluch returns. The story is relentless, but beautifully and incisively rendered, and imbued throughout with hope. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Open Ebook - 242 pages - 978-1-61219-180-5
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-61219-431-8
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