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'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 [email protected]. (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.