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From the Outside In: Maryam Tabibzadeh’s “Persian Dreams”

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Title: Persian Dreams

Author: Maryam Tabibzadeh

Publisher: Iceni Books

Copyright: March 15, 2006

ISBN-10: 1587364867

ISBN-13: 978-1587364860

Format: E-Book, 404 Pages, $27.95 [Amazon Paperback – New], $18.40 [Amazon Paperback – Used], $3.98 [Nook]

Summary:

Through war and peace, loss and triumph, the strongest among us do what they can to hold onto their dreams. Maryam Tabibzadeh’s rich novel invites you to experience one hundred years of history through the eyes of its passionate characters.

Talah: Born in the late nineteenth century to a well-to-do family, she must find a way to survive after the loss of her second husband.

Babak: In an era of great social change, Talah’s first son struggles with his faith as he becomes involved in a heated love affair.

Nosha: Strong and ambitious, the daughter of Babak refuses to accept the second-class citizenship that her country has traditionally forced upon females.

Review:

Persian Dreams recounts three generations of a family living during the twentieth century and provides insight into the political issues of the day. All around Talah and her family, Iran undergoes a transformation. The world that Talah grew up in is a different world than the one that her granddaughter Nosha grew up in.

Persian Dreams is a set of stories that are rich with culture and informative to a westerner. It’s almost like an entirely different world. These are tales of love found and love lost. These are tales of death and the sorrow of a grieving widow. These are tales of a young woman who dared to dream about the impossible. There is such depth in this book with elegant Persian poetry skillfully woven in.

Talah’s story is about a young widow who thinks she is cursed when her husbands start dying after she marries them. In the wake of this sadness (which she carries around her like a heavy burden), she raises her children and does her best to be a loving mother.

Babak’s story is about a young man who becomes infatuated and falls in love with a young woman. Every night, he hears the woman singing like a songbird and when he sees her face, he thinks of no woman but her. This young woman holds a secret, one that Babak later uncovers.

Nosha’s story is about a young woman who dreams about being a doctor. Given her culture and religion, it isn’t entirely acceptable for a woman to do so. Nosha’s story is about pushing boundaries and achieving the impossible.

When I first started reading Maryam Tabibzadeh’s short stories, I found them a little difficult to get into. Talah’s tale and her struggles were deeply saddening. As I read on, I began to have an appreciation for the different characters and tried to view them from the culture in which they lived as well as the political climate of that time. Overall, it was a very fascinating read and I feel as if I’ve learned a bit about Iranian culture.

Rating:

3

Joins us next time as we dive into Sarah Price’s Heavy Burdens!


Featured Image: Lady Reading in an Interior by Marguerite Gérard.

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One thought on “From the Outside In: Maryam Tabibzadeh’s “Persian Dreams”

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