Monday, June 09, 2008

Reading Persian Girls, Nahid Rachlin

Persian Girls
Nahid Rachlin
Tarcher/Penguin
2006

Hardcover, $23.95/$30.00 CANADA
ISBN: 1-58542-520-6

I had been wanting to read this for a long time. It did not disappoint. In fact, I came away from the book wanting to know more about Iran, its culture and the role of women in the culture.

Persian Girls is a very necessary book. We know so little of the people of Iran, their real ways of life, particularly of women in that culture. Here in the USA, we hear what is filtered through our various media: names of cities, leaders, terrorism hot spots.

The story itself recalls Rachlin's memories of growing up in Iran during the 50's and 60's, the dynamics of family life-hers in particular- in that country, her experiences of culture shock, success in coming to America and the strange (though not uncommon) fate of her sister Pari.

Admittedly, most memoirs (to me) are hard to get into; they sound forced in the effort to forge a coherent story. Persian Girls certainly did not fall into that category to me. It is a beautifully written story; a raw, emotional one, that offers a glimpse into a culture that is often misconstrued.

Nahid Rachlin's website
Hear Nahid Rachlin read from Persian Girls via FORA.tv
Persian Girls featured on MotherTalk back in January

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