Shokoofeh Azar: The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

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I struggled with this lots of digressive magical realism in the style of Maruez which isn t something I really have a lot of atience with It s fascinating to read something so deeply Iranian lots of mythology and history bleeds into the story but I like my narratives built on solid ground The narrative voice is very likeable in this magic realist ghost story set in Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley post revolution Iran but at least to this reader with zero background in Iranian culture the novel is often just too similar to the work of Gabriel Garc a M ruez not uite original enough for arize like the International BookerHaving read M ruez s Chronicle of a Death Foretold only last month I would say that Azar does have a couple of strengths absent from that Digging Up the Dead particular M ruez novel at least She references 100 Years of Solitude several times in The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree and I read that about 25 years ago The experiences of both male and female characters are recounted in detail and neither is just arop to the other and I never thought the horrors of the regime or general living conditions were minimised by whimsy sexism or magic realism as I thought they seemed to be in Chronicle An early scene about the narrator s brother being tortured in The Long Surrender prison indicated it wasn t going to shy away from thisThere is rather magic in The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree it has some lovely descriptions and the charm of children s stories in which motley bands of ghosts mingle and lead interesting lives in this worldarallel to the living from Rentaghost to The Graveyard Book The narrator is the ghost of a 13 year old girl who died in a University Physics, Volume 1 politically motivated arson and who can still talk to her living family as well as to other ghosts At the same time it is clear that the atrocities and hopelessness of life in Iran foreople like the narrator s intelligentsia family is such that Tinyburg Tales perhaps the only way one can therapeutically reframe things is by using the supernatural Ireferred when this was simply a deduction In Chapter 15 an alternate bleak mundane reality is described and this was both too on the nose and dispiriting Some readers will feel as I did that we didn t need to know that be told that imagining corners of it was enoughThis wasn t a book I wanted to be reading at the moment though I could always tell from the opening Magic Tree House pages that the narrative voice was uite beguiling and itrobably wasn t as worthy as one might assume from the blurb and that to an extent I might like it despite myself In the bloggers shadow Teach Yourself Buddhism panel group basically everyone loves this book and that combined with the worthy sounding blurb and that I don t like M ruez as much as mosteople made me really not look forward to that So I was merely thinking it might be a chore but at least uite a short one as books go But the current situation makes me really not want to read books set in currently existing or futuristic authoritarian regimes The voice the folktales of jinns and Zoroastrians animals doing cute things and the lovely world of ghosts which despite a few hints towards its bleakness sounds a lot fun than life in Iran and lenty of other repressive or severely impoverished laces all The Children of Segu (Ségou, provided a lot of relief from that But this novel is also uite a tough read especially in the way it keepsummelling the reader towards the end Just when you think the horrors might have ended there s another and another and another heartbreaking event and in those moments I kept remembering that this was not a book I would have chosen to read just now and that my estimation of that was correct The rhythm felt different from that of its fellow longlistee but sadly not shortlistee The Eighth Life which seemed carefully constructed to Rumi provide a balance of entertainment and drama horror and endurance with hope and refuge The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is a novel both ofolitics and art to tell you about the horrors of the Iranian regime and for the author to express her skill and showcase a beautiful Persian culture millennia older than the current government It seems to have to tell the reader for the first time its culture being less well known globally and therefore is relatively relentless It feels like a book about Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States - Kindle edition by Randall Mason, Max Page, Randall Mason. Politics Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ processing and being creatively inspired by terrible experiences therefore it doesn t go into the reasons for the revolution and why some Iranians supported it It is simply about howeople like the narrator s family were robbed of a decent freer life in some cases of life by the ost 1979 authorities However I would guess that the folkloric content and other references not obvious to the average Westerner might nevertheless make this novel very special to readers with heritage in Iran or nearby cultures But there is also lenty to like here I am not generally a fan of books about books and reciousness about books but for these characters the stakes are far higher books are not an overproduced consumer commodity available everywhere common classic novels and hilosophy texts westerners take for granted are dangerous to own and hard to come by and their long lists of books and A Game of Vows paeans to them are deeply meaningful There was wisdom here some from the folk tradition like the Wertherian concept of black love which afflicted a neighbouring girl in the village and some formal I really liked the discussion late in the novel between the narrator s Dad and his venerable mystic brother Khosrow In recent years online I ve often seen a wholesale dismissal of stoicism acceptance mysticism and other spiritual ways of coping with difficulty by young going far beyond the obviousitfalls of the corporate adoption of mindfulness and happiness studies or the neglect of living conditions in some areas of Valkyries Vengeance psychology an attitude similar to the argument the narrator s Dad makes But one rarely sees someone from the spiritual side getting to reply at lengthroperly acknowledging the other side s argument as Khosrow does and especially not where the argument has real stakes for both Let Freedom Reign parties Of course I kind of liked the scene because in a elegant and wise way it echoes my own take on it that there are some things you just can t change and someeople at least on social media don t seem to be repared to admit how common that is and that you need to try and find ways of coping because the alternative is like a bird that keeps on flying at windows and there are robably damn good reasons some of these approaches have survived for thousands of years I only say kind of because it was horrible seeing what happened in the novel afterwards The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree I found similar in uality to several of the other novels on this year s longlist there is a lot in it which is good uality but there is at least one significant flaw or other aspect I disliked which means I don t see it as a winner Here that would be the similarity to M ruez The Emerald Peacock plus its being a tougher read than some would like at this time But so many othereople like this one so who knows I would have loved to have instead read a whole novel about the 1000 year old wandering ghost of a Siberian hunter whom the narrator meets in the first uarterRead review The she read old books such as The Darab Nama One Thousand and One Nights Khayyam s Nowruz Nama Hossein Kord Shabestari The Shahnama Eskandar Nama Malek Jamshid Jame al Olum Ajayeb Nama and Aja ib va Ghara ib the deeper she delved into the magnificent expanse of ocean that was the Iranian Little Book of Impressionists people s real imaginary beliefs and became ever detached from the real day to day world To deny or forget herast she read and wrote submerging herself in the meaning of mythThe Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree has been translated from the Faris original by Shokoofeh Azar and deservedly longlisted for the International Booker following its Stella Prize shortlisting in Australia The translator who does a superb job and worked closely with the author has chosen to remain anonymous likely due to one of the book s contentious setpieces The novel begins with an immediate sense of its Tickle Torture potent mixture of mysticism and horror Beeta says that Mom attained enlightenment at exactly 2 35 PM on August 18 1988 atop the grove s tallest greengagelum tree on a hill overlooking all fifty three village houses to the sound of the scrubbing of Ugly Girls pots andans a ruckus that RSVP... Baby pulled the grove out of its lethargy every afternoon At that very moment blindfolded and hands tied behind his back Sohrab was hanged He was hanged without trial and unaware he would be buried en masse with hundreds of otherolitical The Moment prisoners early the next morning in a longit in the deserts south of Tehran without any indication or marker lest a relative come years later and tap a The Cypress Tree pebble on a headstone and murmur there is no god but God Our narrator is 13 year old Bahar Sohrab her brother and Beeta her sister and the novel revolves around the story of the three siblings and theirarents her mother Roza and father HushangThe story is set in Iran in the decade or so following the 1979 Islamic Revolution The family fled their family home in Tehran in the early days of the overthrow of the Shah s regime fleeing to a remote The Kings Spy (Thomas Hill, part of the country But even there the tentacles of change and upheaval eventually reach them And yet as we laid the first stone for the house near the forest and that ancient fire temple on a hill overlooking Razan we couldn t have imagined how useless our flight had been given that just nine years later the road leading to the village would feel the weight of a car carrying a mullah and his bodyguards that then ascended the hill to the grove and arrived at our doorstepThe distinctive style of the novel blends the beauty of Iranian culture with the horrors of theost revolution years Zoroastrian and Islamic religion Roza still regard the latter as an imposed religion following the 7th century Arab conuest of Persia and in literary terms Iranian storytelling with magic realism In Doctor Illuminatus particular we soon learn that our narrator is actually a ghost she died in a fire in the early days of the Islamic Revolution but one that interacts with and talks to her relativesAnd while there is a linear thread to the story it is told via episodic short tales and setieces and with references often made to episodes in the collective memory of the The Real Witches Kitchen past the fire of the First Soothsayer that haven t yet been explained to the reader So a typical introduction to an incident reads In the years of Mom s waiting in Razan and Dad s in Evin Prison and Darband on a foggy morning of an ordinary day when Mom had long since lost the fortitude andhysical strength to tend to the grove and keep the house free of creeping vines ants and lizards and the inhabitants of Razan had become used to war black snow and the absence of their sons and mothers and the whole story of the First Soothsayer Effat s black love and Razan s holy fire had become mere distant inconceivable memories the brazen sound of chainsaws aroused the villagers from their sleep once and for all Literature is as noted a key to the novel There is a wonderful extended set The Preachers Kid piece of which the below is only a fraction where the family s extensive library is burnt by zealots which acknowledges the novel s many influences above all One Hundred Years of Solitude I vividly remember how Danko s Burning Heart was engulfed in flames that then licked at Luce s skirt who desperately trying torotect herself from the fire in the O Testamento pages of Romain Rolland s book held Pierre tightly to her breast I watched as the fire spread to the intertwined lovers Pierre and Natasha Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw Scarlett O Hara and Rhett Butler Elizabeth and Mr Darcy Abelard and Heloise Tristan and Isolde Salaman and Absal Vis and Ramin Vamegh and Azra Zohreh and Manuchehr Shirin and Farhad Leyli and Majnun Arthur and Gemma the Rose and the Little Prince before they had the chance to smell or kiss each other again or whisper I love you one last timeOh Remedios the beauty and her white bedsheets the fragile yellow wings of Mauricio Babilonia s butterflies merging with the flames burning and disappearing as if they had never existedIndeed one of the novel s tensions is between the temptation to retreathysically but also into mysticism and literature and Gangbang Slut physically and the need to engage Hushang at one stage returns to Tehran to try to understand what is happening only to find that this brother Khosrowrefers to take refuge in the seemingly abstract The next morning though Dad continued studying alone He still wanted to know how the Iranian culture and civilization with all its grandeur and creativity with its belief in good thoughts good words and good deeds had collapsed and reached such depths Uncle Khosrow on the other hand truly did not want to know anything He just wanted to float like an innocent being in a stream of cosmic consciousness and utter acceptance and occasionally appear in a library somewhere in the world to read a book But Khosrow argues that meditation may be the best One Con Glory path to knowledge Mosteople see the world as a dangerous and threatening Defying Shadows (Rising Shadows place they have to arm themselves against fight withrotect themselves or run away from And for these eople the world truly becomes a menacing harmful aggressive creature But the world is something one needs a lifetime just to know And as the family read classic novels they indeed find Nausea showed us what complex olitical religious and hilosophical intermediaries the world has a world we wanted to comprehend directly The Metamorphosis showed two bereft girls that humankind today is not what classic literature had taught us We read The Unbearable Lightness of Being with such rapture that before we had realized what had happened night had fallen and Scenes from a Marriage made us cry over our naive belief in the urity of lovemaking Eventually Dad joined us too and together we explored Lovers Moderato Cantabile The House of Sleeping Beauties Ragtime The Tatar Steppe The Catcher in the Rye and The Remains of the Day then discussed them for days What happens with the family which the reader to an extent has to A Fairly Honourable Defeat piece together defies conventional explanation At one stage Hushang by this time alone is arrested and interrogated but his confession leaves his captors bemused and angry The man yelled even louder You re just making stories up Your sister turned into a jinn and your daughter into a mermaid and before going into the sea she gave birth to fish and shells There was black snow and Zoroastrian ghostsrayed for you A ghost showe. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is an extraordinarily owerful and evocative literary novel set in Iran in the eriod immediately.

D you a treasure map So in a Life of Pi esue explanation although in interviews the author here has been clear the magic realist story is the true one he offers a conventional account Instead he wrote that he had been completely opposed to the Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue political systemrior to his arrest that Beeta had lost her sanity and now believed she had been transformed into a mermaid and was in a The Man Without a Face psychiatric ward and that his wife Roza had Alzheimer s disease and had gone missingI ve only touched on some of the themes in a wonderful novelHighly recommended 5 stars I really wanted to like this book but it didn t let me I have a little bit ofraise but also many roblems with it It s a sentimental story that brings to life many forgotten local Iranian folk tales but it s so oorly written and its message is a bit distorted and exaggerated that I can t rate it anything higher than a 15 The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is a novel by Shokoofeh Azar an Iranian based in Australia It uses magical realism and Iranian folklore to tell the story of an upper class Iranian family whose life is driven to absolute ruin in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution Like every other work of fiction by Iranian writers in Diaspora it s very complicated for me as an Iranian to talk about this book with non Iranians especially since such books receive attention in international circles by Gone (Gone, people who don t exactly understand the complications nuances and the reality of life inost revolution Iran I don t feel safe to write as freely as I d like to on the subject so I will leave that for another time and only mention three main things about the book itself 1 the use of magical realism and folklore 2 Threads Of The Shroud political message and 3 writing The usage of Iranian folklore to tell the story is the book s only strong asset Azar has used many elements and imaginary beings of Iranian folk tales especially those of Mazandaran arovince in Northern Iran and I All Seated on the Ground praise her for that since those local folks and legends have become so niche and unknown that are on the brink of extinction these days I knew about some of the legends and I checked the rest with my mother whose family is from Mazandaran and she confirmed that some of the elements are very old almost forgotten fairy tales that she vaguely recalls having heard about from her elders I think Azar s attempt to incorporate them in her book is a nice way to breathe some new life into these forgotten legends Personal side story if you ve read the book you ll find this bit interesting my maternal family owns an old familyroperty an orchard with a house in it on top of a hill overlooking a village in the mountains of Mazandaran just like in the book Interestingly enough one of the villages down the hill is called Razan Even interestingly there are some stones at the end of the orchard that the elders in the family are convinced are the remains of an ancient Zoroastrian graveyard Also everyone in the village is convinced there are ancient treasures buried deep in neighboring hillsides Of course I am skeptical of the truth in any of these claims but it s interesting to observe the similarities between this Untitled. place and the book it only goes to show how realistic Azar sortrayal of Mazandaran s remote villages legends and beliefs areThe book doesn t follow a strictly linear timeline and spends enough time to explore each of the main character s individual stories which is good There are some interesting twists too ghosts narrating side stories getting a whole chapter to suspend the main story etc The magical realism is alright but I have heard from fellow GR reviewers that it s an amateur imitation of One Hundred Years of Solitude and since I haven t read that one I refrain from further commenting on that The Wiring people who said that arerobably right thoughThen there s the socio Against All Odds political content of the book The thing is it s not easy to write an honest and non exaggerated story about the causes and aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran People usually fall on one of the two extreme sides and both groups tend to distort the reality to fit their own agenda Group one believes life before the revolution was absolute hell and the revolution made the countryrosper That s a ridiculously false claim The second group likes to think life before 1979 was heaven on earth that the Shah regime had no Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage problems and everyone was happy then for some abstract reason a revolution just happened and now life is absolute hell That s also a ridiculous claim Shokoofeh Azar is obviously a member of the second group The reason why this book is getting such hype is simply that it wasublished abroad so the author managed to write freely without censorship and attack the revolution not because of the literary merit of the book which it lacks seriouslyBefore the 1979 revolution systemic censorship and total violation of freedom of expression in the country had The DOS paralyzed writers journalists and basically everyone leaving them unable toublish and create what they wanted That did not improve after the revolution the only thing that changed was the guideline on what content is considered banned or offensive Before the revolution no one could talk about socialism or criticize the Shah after the revolution it s forbidden to uestion Islamic values and the legitimacy of the regime Azar has Against All Odds published her book in Australia She s written freely attacking each and every single hegemonic dogma that exists inost revolution Iran She s ridiculed everything they hold holy she s touched on almost all unspeakable things that are childishly considered taboo While that s satisfying to read it s obvious that she doesn t have a solid knowledge of Iran s contemporary history and has written things that a Western audience loves to read about Iran The Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism problem is you cannot judge what is exaggerated and what is not unless you ve lived in the country or have read extensively on its history She mentions book burnings brain washing rape mass executions etc which are allerfectly verifiable historic events But then one instance where her exaggeration is laughable is when a character goes to a shop in Tehran in 2010s Treasons, Stratagems, And Spoils presumably to buy illegal music CDs and then he gets arrested because he s wearing a necktie and he s sent torison for five years because of the necktie and the CDs That s so ridiculous First of all no one buys CDs these days any when you can just download whatever you want off the internet with a VPN More importantly while Payment Due people do get arrested for no apparent reasons wearing a tie on the street is not one of them at least not since the immediate few years after the revolution Some other atrocities she describes areerfectly realistic Vampireville (Vampire Kisses, possible or even certain to have happened I marticularly thankful that she s mentioned the mass executions of 1988 that were very real absolutely catastrophic and no one can talk about them Pirate of the Pacific (Doc Savage, publicly and safely in Iran but the way she s mixed real events with imaginary exaggerated one is soroblematic Her mixed up message makes it difficult for the non Iranian target audience or even Iranians with insufficient knowledge in recent history to judge what is real and what s not And that s the hardest thing for me to explain on a short Goodreads book review I m saying this as someone who is wholeheartedly opposed to and disgusted by the current situation I ll make this clearer when I m in a safer The Rich and the Profane (Lovejoy, positionBut now here comes the huge flaw the most annoying flaw language writing and grammarBefore starting the book I read in some English GR reviews that the translation is lacking something That s not a translationroblem it s a writing Turbulence problem I read the book in the original Persian and I m disappointed and even enraged to say that therose and I can t even call it that is flimsy wacky inconsistent flawed and downright abysmal for the most Tropical Bioproductivity part There are even grammatical errors that I consider a huge red flag in anyublished Elizabeth Ann Seton piece of writing let alone a book shortlisted for the Booker Prize There are commas inlaces you absolutely don t need a comma the definite direct object Die Postmoderne Konstellation particle is missing in some cases where sentences get too long and there are some other syntax and grammar errors and editing inconsistencies that lowered my opinion of the book by many steps The otherroblem with writing is its tone Farsi Persian has many different registers of formality and if you mix them up in a text it becomes messy clumsy and cringe inducing Azar has failed to use them correctly She s used verbs that don t fit in with the tone of the rest of the sentence she s Folk Tales From the Soviet Union phrased her thoughts in a way that signals incompetency in writing or lack of mastery over the Farsi language Some of herhrases even feel translated word by word from English She is Ulysses and the Trojan War particularly bad at dialogues Her characters speak in an unrealistic formal andseudo Tall, Dark Rich philosophical register that doesn t fit the scene or the tone It s not because of a decision to steer clear of collouialism in a few instances where unlikable and inferior characters talk she uses believable collouial language for them which only makes the rest of the so called elevated dialogues sound unrealistic No one no native Farsi speaker ever speaks the way Azar s characters do There are some interesting sentenceseeking through but they never last longer than two lines and she falls back into her amateur distasteful and incorrect writing The English translation has sedated and camouflaged some of the huge shortcomings of the writing which makes the reading experience slightly bearableMy final The Collector's Encyclopedia of Antique Marbles problem with the book is its internalized and subtle racism and manifestation ofroblematic ideas There are a few cases of fat shaming trying to depict a disgusting character the author insists that this woman is overweight fat 120kg at least 50kg overweight a few cases of slut shaming saying that some women who have become guards or missionaries used to be nothing than Taught to Obey prostitutes with a humiliating tone many cases of racism androblematic ethnicism using the words Learning to Dance in the Rain pale and crystalline to describe beautifuleople and blackswartdark faced for inferior or ugly Rebel (The Change, people anti Arab sentiments etc some cases of using rape metaphors where virginity is theurity and value that s being conuered elitism many usages of somewhat derogatory language and tone for villagers and rural eople in contrast with educated upper class eople from Tehran and some other things that I would rather not mention in the review right nowIt could have been a tolerably agreeable book if a it hadn t exaggerated and distorted so many things and b if it didn t have such abysmal messy writing When I want to learn about world events and The Plant Paradox political revolutions there s a reason why I don t only read newspaper articles and history books There s so much to a country itseople and their culture than can be found in facts The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree describes an Iranian family splintered apart by the country s 1979 Islamic Revolution They flee their home in Tehran and settle in a small village with the hope of continuing their lives in relative Little Sister (Sweet Dreams, peace but find the new regime imposes changes which hinder or end their lives The Have you ever tried toour an ocean into a thimble If yes you know exactly what I am feeling trying to write a review of Shokoofeh Azar s novel which I finished tonight Words fail me I wish I had a garden then I would Namen-Und Sach-Register Zum Jahresbericht �ber Die Fortschritte in Der Lehre Von Den Pathogenen Mikroorganismen Umfassend Bacterien, Pilze Und Protozo�n plant a greengage tree instead It would always remind me of Roza Hushang Sohrab Beeta Bahar and the book which blew me awayThat s itReview to comerovided I will safely return to reality My heart is still in Razan Now shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 202045 Contrary to what dad believe culture knowledge and art retreat in the face of violence the sword and fire I guess this novel roves that I am not over magic realism in general but only over some authors representing this genre I say this because this book is drowning in magic realism it breaths in and breaths out magical creatures ghosts Arabic and Persian mythologyShokoofeh Azar is an Iranian writer living in Australia and this is her debut novel The novel tells the magical and tragic story of a family who loses everything in the times of The Islamic Revolution The story is narrated by a 13 year old girl who happens to be a ghost Most reviews mention thi Literally when I was typing this the book was shortlisted for International Booker Prize 2020In one sentence if you are a fan of the classic magic realism a la One Hundred Years of Solitude you will robably like this book And it is a harder call if you like me are not armoured with this work by Maruez I Red Skies at Night (Anchors Away personallyrefer Borges and Cortazar For the first two chapters I really thought i was going to admire this book For a while now I ve been trying unsuccessfully to find something good from modern Iranian fiction And for the first two chapters of this novel I enjoyed the blend of the family s story with Iranian history The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956 peppered with traditional Central Asian folklore It reminded me a book of old Persian and Tadjik fairytales I ve read as a child But then i realised that the story is being told by a ghost of the 13 year old girl burnt to death but stillretty much Fresh faith present in the life of the family And it went downhill for me from there All the usual magic realist tropes wereresent there the ghosts in huge uantities the rivers of tears the stopping of the time the women s exodus to look for their dead children black snow falling etc etc It was very ity as the other mystical elements of traditional Persian storytelling were buried for me in this hotchpotch There were two things which rubbed me in a wrong way The first was the simplification of the olitics The story is told from the The New Left the Origins of the Cold War perspective of a well off cosmopolitan family who became the victims of the Islamic revolution They endure enormousersonal loss But they still manage to drive an expensive American car and build a huge house in a remote village And I felt the story was understandably full of angst and bitterness not only for the victims but also for their lost cosmopolitan life style What was missing for me is why and how so many The Right Hook of Devin Velma pooreople supported this barbarous regime at the first La Fleur du Mal place They are represented at the book at best misguided and at worst barbarians with the calloused hands murdering alive mermaidAnother thing I did not like is how Azar re imagined the last days of Khomeini I thought it wasrimitive I have to admit that I ersonally do not like when the dictators appear at the novel. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Using the lyrical magic realism style of classical Persian storytelling Azar draws the reader deep in.

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Without good reason and the authors are trying to speculate about their thoughts and characters It is often happens with Hitler or Stalin I do not mind when a whole book is devoted to the one of them or when they have just cameo appearance But trying to re imaging their thinking in an episode normally does not lead to a good result Here I doubt Khomeini was so much afraid that he wet himself or he devoted his last minutes thinking about his first masturbation Why do we need it in this novelAnd now the last maybe minor complaint love scenes At the middle of it all all this violence all this magic and all this realism we have two scenes which borderline cliches Here we go The man lunged wildly into her and she grabbed greedily at his hardened loins Later when each of them remembered that wild rebellious night in the recesses of their heart they could not recall how many times they climaxed inside each other three times And guess what At the end they found themselves high upon the enlightenment of love I was so happy for them but i was glad that they got it over with That was Reckless page 112 I really dreaded that would continue Fortunately after one chapter with another two characters the torrent of love making activities described as above have subsided Now to good things I have to admit i ve exhausted my energy somewhat writing about what i did not like But I liked theoetic language in many cases I think the incorporation of Persian folklore was successful if only it was not mixed with the magic realism that much I enjoyed her forays into Zoroastrian traditions The scene with the fire and the enchanted villagers was really memorable Though I do not share her excitement with Zoroastrian religion She seems to juxtapose the Islam and Zoroastrianism But i think she herself shows that in extreme the older traditions could be as well self destructingAnother element I really appreciated was her intertextuality She and her characters love books It shows all the way through the novel I was not Trickster particularly excited by the lengthy lists of books titles in the text I did not think they brought much But I loved theoetry she uoted And closer to the end I ve discovered the new author Herve Bazin with Viper in the fistA mixed bag for me but I can see why Killers Prey (Conard County people would like this novel Dad wrote everything again This time he cut out all thearts he had realized were incomprehensible to their stale minds and embellished here and there to make it thoroughly believable This time he wrote nothing about the black snow or my ghost or Aunt Turan joining the jinns or Beeta and Issa s circular flames of love making In this new version there was nothing about Homeyra Khatun s enchanted garden and well or Effat s black love the magical sleep or Razan s holy fire all of which I had told him about He wrote nothing about the Mr Big prayers of the ancient Zoroastrianriests or the mating of the cows and roosters with wild birds and animals during the time of the black snow This time he wrote neither that Roza was once able to walk through the air above Naser Khosrow Street with The Wayfarer by Sohrab Sepehri nor that his brother Khosrow could appear and disappear before everyone s eyes Having been chosen with a group of other Goodreads friends to read Tyll as Flori în păr part of the Reading Agency s shadowing of the 2020 International Booker Prize I decided to read the rest of the shortlist something I hadreviously decided not to do and instead concentrate my reading time severely hampered by COVID 19 on the Women s Prize longlistThis book is written by an Iranian exile who claimed olitical asylum in Australia around ten years ago It is officially banned in Iran although something of an underground bestseller and has been translated from the Farsi under a nom de lume The book is effectively the story of a very Sexy Cosplay Anime Girls (Bikini, Military, Scifi Costume, Japanese Import, Asian Babe, Picture Book) (Xena Kai Book 3) prosperous Iranian family of 5 and everything that befalls them for the next decade or so The family flee Tehran where their wider family had an enormous mansion tourchase a large Humiliated Husband plot of land in a village Razan in the remote countryside located near an old Zoroastrian fire temple a tradition the mother of the family still follows But their attempt to flee the chaos religious extremism and arbitrary revolutionary injustice that engulfs the capital only succeeds for aeriod as all of those things catch up with them in Razan although our narrator Bahar we find out in the 5th Chapter died at 13 in February 1979 accidentally burnt to death in a revolutionary attack on their houseMost of all though I think the book is an examination of how Warehouse Management people tell stories to make sense of their livesarticularly at troubled and turbulent times An examination which draws eually on folk legend the ancient tradition of Persian storytelling and on recent classic literature from around the world interestingly these inspirations Gabriel Garcia Maruez being the most obvious to an English reader are very explicitly acknowledged in the text as Behar and her family are both Bibliophiles and lovers of literature I Little Slave particular literature which tells stories stories of love and death and families but literature which draws heavily on imagination It is easy to describe the book as being of the Magic Realism genre but it draws on a much wider and much older tradition It s life s failure and its deficiencies that make someone a daydreamer I don t understand whyrophets and The Stall (Pony In Training philosophers didn t see the significance in that I think imagination is at the heart of reality or at least is the immediate meaning and interpretation of life The book itself can and should be read like one great story Bahar narrating the tragic and oftentimes terrible fate of her family via a route which circles around time very commonly and deliberately importantortentous incidents and their later near legendary status in the life of the family and the village their reverberations and impacts are discussed well before we actually know what the incident is Oddly the effect of this is not disorienting but immersiveBut it also consists of many other stories few if any side characters appear in the book without first telling their story and sometimes these then lead into nested stories of others they have encounteredAnd there is also and one of my favourite arts of the novel a deliberately varied and again very explicitly signalled examination of different times of storytellingThe book opens blackly with the mass state sponsored executions of 1988 of which Bahar s brother Sohrab was one of the many thousands of victimsMuch of the book is told as alluded to above in a rather fantastical mystical magic realism style although even there the styles vary Some that articularly stand out and reminded me Sanibel Virgin partly of Maruez but also of Kadare feature the Ayatollah Khomeini and a fantastical and I think for the author and her characters redemptive telling of the events before his death and the way in which he is literally haunted by his victims Others though are standard magic realism fare crossed with Persian myth Some of these sections to be honest are like much magic realism a little tedious sometimes when the normal rules of fidelity to natural laws and order are abandoned the storyteller and novelist voicing them has a lot fun than the reader and during 2 3 lengthy chapters in the middle of the book while vital to a key early incident in the novel involving fire and fate and to the eventual fate of Bahar s sister Beeta I found myself skipping large sections as well as cringing at two sex scenes But there is much and its in the exceptions and juxtapositions that the real interest of the book liesWhen early on in the novel I read thisassage Briefly Hossein explained that seven years ago Way of the Shaman people had taken to the streets chanted death to the Shah and death to America So the Shah and his family had fled Iran His Holiness Ayatollah al Azmi Imam Ruhollah al Musavi al Khomeini returned to Iran from exile in France the Holy Islamic Republic replaced the tyrannical Pahlavi regime nighty eightercent of the Gallowglass people voted for the Islamic Republic of Iran the leaders of therevious regime were executed and any remaining opponents of the Islamic Republic were opponents of the Islamic Republic were arrested and sent to The Inclusion Imperative prison Ayatollah Khomeini ordered that housing water and electricity would be free for the average Iranian women had to wear a headscarf and the Great Leader of the Revolution had ordered all relations with America and all other bourgeois countries cut off Hossein declared that Ira had invaded Iran and now all men young and old and even children were on the front fighting toreserve the Holy Islamic State I marked it down as representing an understandable but disappointing example of using reported narrative to sketch historical background but as the book developed and I revisited it I saw it as one of the types of stories examined and so a type which while very common to educated Westerners and The Public-Private Partnership Handbook prosperous Iranian City dwellers is in fact an alien tradition to the villagers and drawing on concepts that are as imaginary and other worldly to them as ghosts and Djinn s to us In the midst of all of this just once did one old man ask Where is Ira anyway And who is America Later one man sitting with a group of river ghosts as well as the long dead Bahar and Beeta newly saved from a suicide attempt tries for the first time to tell his story havingreviously not known how to tell it Encouraged he launches into a nearly 8 What Next After School ? page and highly convoluted single sentence very different from the carefully crafted stories of the others after which The middle aged man blushed in embarrassment and asked I m sorry is this howeople tell stories The old man answered Yes this is one way Emerging Markets people do it When Beeta returns from a lengthy time in Tehran leaving with the innocent face of an anguished girl returning with the expression of a stalwart woman with several gray hairs a few wrinkles she also has lips that were accustomed to silence and the biggest sign of her change and the ordeal she has undergone is her unwillingness to tell the kind of lengthy and convoluted story which the family are used to Moreover her account of the events of the last several years was so succinct we didn t dare ask She seemed to have become inexplicably accustomed to keeping silent I didn t blame her When she described how she had joined the first student dissent group upon enrolling at the university as a student of art history and was arrested at a studentrotest banned from studying and then sent to A Home of Another Kind prison we realized that life still had yet grimmer things in store for the members of our family It had taken her less than an hour to recount everything from start to finish Two of the most chilling and effectivearts of the book are towards the end when the worlds of legend and magic clash terribly with the harshness of modern Iran and its regime The first is when the Father is being tortured after being mistakenly seized at a demonstration as a Shah sympathiser The Voyage of the Norman D., As Told by the Cabin Boy perhaps not an unreasonable accusation given the family sre revoutionary wealth and apparent disdain for the African Successes, Volume I people of the City His confessionfamily story effectively his account of the very story we are reading is rejected for being too fantastical for the elements in the opening uote to my review which serve as a good summary of the story Instead he rewrites it to what for the stale minds of the authorities is a far rational explanation but which to him to our narrator to I think from interviews our author and by this stage of the book us as reader comes across as an unimaginative and frankly inaccurate account of what has actually befallen the family Instead he wrote that he had been completely opposed to theolitical system Trigger Samaniego 1 (Stallion, prior to his arrest that Beeta had lost her sanity and now believed she had been transformed into a mermaid and was in asychiatric ward and that his wife Roza had Alzheimer s disease and had gone missing He wrote that I had died in a fire Revolutionaries had lit in our house and they hadn t seen my body since He wrote many things Things that were Lehrbuch Der Physiologie partly his own dreams He wrote that for years he suffered from depression and was house bound until one day he set off and travelled through most of the country teaching androcuring illicit Plastic Techniques in Neurosurgery (English Edition) eBook: James Tait Goodrich, David A. Staffenberg: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. political books for youngeople He wrote that he was neither a monarchist nor a communist nor a Mojahedin that he just wanted democracy and believed that Sexy, Healthy, Food - 25 Clean-eats, Gluten-free Recipes people had the right to choose their religion dress andolitical Marketing Excellence 3 parties and that the media should be free He wrote that he had no living family members and the story of his brother Khosrow had merely been a figment of this imagination and that he had never had a sister by the name of Turan And Beeta s actual transformation to a mermaid one laced with allusions to legend and literature and her escape to the sea gives rise to the most disturbing scene of the book as when landing back on water she is seized by the men who see her subject to attempted but anatomically impossible rape and then assaulted and shotOverall this is a veryowerful novel and would I think make a deserved winner of the YARN Essentials prize I have to say it was a lot enjoyable to reflect on and to write about than it always was to read I would give the concept 5 and the reading experience 3 Shortlisted for the Booker International Prize 2020Azar is an Iranian or Persian exile living in Australia which gives her a degree of license to describe her country sroblems that would not be available to anyone still living there indeed the translator chose to remain anonymous for hisher own safety This is an enjoyable magic realist fable which is very loosely based on the experience of living through Iran s Islamic revolution but owes much to Persian and Arabic myths and legends I don t think it is much of a spoiler to reveal something that is explained early in the book ie that the narrator of the book is a ghost who watches over what remains of her family The story is Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms, populated by jinns mermaids and other fantastic creatures I am not normally a big fan of such fantasy stories but in this case it works very well as a way of making the storyalatable to a casual reader without lessening its outspoken criticism of the excesses of the regimeThis uote seems appropriate It s life s failures and deficiencies that make someone a daydreamer I don t understand why Black on Blonde prophets andhilosophers didn t see the significance of that I think imagination is at the heart of reality or at least is the immediate meaning and interpretation of life. To the heart of a family caught in the maelstrom of The Walters Art Museum the Art of Ancient Greece post revolutionary chaos and brutality that sweeps across an ancient land and itseop.

Author and journalist The writer of “The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree”Awards Longlisted at National Book Awards 2020 Shortlisted at The Booker International 2020 Shortlisted at The Stella Prize 2018 Shortlisted at The University of ueensland Fiction Book Award 2018 Shortlisted at The Adelaide Writers Festival 2020 GrantsAustralian Council for the Arts 2019Creative Victoria 2019Sch