Next Online Book Club: THE SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ by Dalia Sofer

I am excited to announce the next EDIWTB book club! This time, the book is Dalia Sofer's The Septembers of Shiraz, recently out in paperback from Harper Perennial. Here's a description from Amazon:

Sofer Sofer's family escaped from Iran in 1982 when she was 10, an experience that may explain the intense detail of this unnerving debut. On a September day in 1981, gem trader Isaac Amin is accosted by Revolutionary Guards at his Tehran office and imprisoned for no other crime than being Jewish in a country where Muslim fanaticism is growing daily. Being rich and having had slender ties to the Shah's regime magnify his peril. In anguish over what might be happening to his family, Isaac watches the brutal mutilation and executions of prisoners around him. His wife, Farnaz, struggles to keep from slipping into despair, while his young daughter, Shirin, steals files from the home of a playmate whose father is in charge of the prison that holds her father. Far away in Brooklyn, Isaac's nonreligious son, Parviz, struggles without his family's money and falls for the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord. Nicely layered, the story shimmers with past secrets and hidden motivations. The dialogue, while stiff, allows the various characters to come through. Sofer's dramatization of just-post-revolutionary Iran captures its small tensions and larger brutalities, which play vividly upon a family that cannot, even if it wishes to, conform.

And here is a review from the Sunday NYT Book Review from last August.

If you'd like to participate in the online book club for Septembers of Shiraz, send me your name and mailing address (even if you've sent it to me before) at (Please put your full name and address together, like you're addressing a letter, with your email address on the last line, so that I can just cut and paste it.)  Harper Perennial has generously agreed to send copies of the book to EDIWTB readers who would like to particpate. Depending on when the books go out, the book club will be held here on this blog sometime around the end of July.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, I am no longer accepting names for the online book club. We have used up our allotment of books from Harper Perennial. Thanks for your interest! Feel free to buy the book or borrow it from the library if you'd like to participate.


  • Nancy Viens
    June 24, 2008 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    I would like to preview this book, it sounds exciting and timely.

  • June 24, 2008 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    Wow, this sounds like a fascinating book. I wish I had time to participate. I hope you get a lot out of your discussion of it!

  • June 24, 2008 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gayle, I sent you an email. The book sounds great.

  • June 25, 2008 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hi, new to your site – it is great!! One suggestion – it would be great if the links under “I’m Done” on the right cuold link to your reviews of those books (as well as Amazon). Just a thought!

  • June 25, 2008 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    Megan – welcome! And thanks for the comment. I agree completely with you, and I pursued it with Typepad, but the only links they allow for books in lists like “I’m Done” are to Amazon. Maybe they will change it down the road. In the meantime, I think the fastest way (unfortunately) to find the reviews I’ve written is to google the name of the author and “everyday i write the book”. That works even better than the search bar to the right. Thanks again for finding me!

  • gwendolyn
    June 25, 2008 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Would love to participate in discussions of “The Septembers of Shiraz.” (I sent an email.) I’m so glad I found your site — I spent a lot of time searching for this book — I had seen it a few weeks ago, but my note about it. It’s been driving me crazy! Hope to have the chance to discuss it online.

  • June 25, 2008 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to participate in this discussion too. I just finished ‘My Life As A Traitor’ and would love to read some more nonfiction books in this genre!

  • July 1, 2008 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Gayle, I’ll look forward to the discussion of _The Septembers of Shiraz_. I’ve read great reviews about it, and it looks like it’s written so realistically that it reads like non-fiction!
    Will you e-mail us with the exact date for the discussion, or post it on the blog?

  • July 2, 2008 - 7:24 am | Permalink

    I got my book and started it last night. It’s going to be a good one.

  • July 2, 2008 - 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Glad that people are getting the book and enjoying it so far! The discussion will take place on Monday July 28 – see you here then!

  • Lisa C
    July 6, 2008 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I read this book in one day – it was that good! This is a fantastic read and it was hard to put it down. Thank you so much for the copy. Looking foward to the discussion.

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