The Septembers of Shiraz, by Dalia Sofer

I just finished The Septembers of Shiraz, by Dalia Sofer. I received this book from Gayle over at Everyday I Write The Book. If you are interested in the online book group she held for this book, click here to read what others had to say about it.

After the Iranian revolution, Isaac Amin, a rare gem dealer, is wrongly accused of being a Zionist spy. He is blindfolded and taken to prison without a chance to speak to his family. Leaving behind his wife and daughter and his son who is attending college in the states, Issac experiences the horrors of prison and realizes that he may not make it out alive.

This story, somewhat auto-biographical, is told very simply and told from many different points of view. It’s extremely well written and there were many times where I had to re-read a paragraph because of its lyrical nature. I have heard from others that the subject matter, particularly the torture scenes are too heavy to get through, but I felt the author handled them well. Not graphic..but enough of a description to experience what Isaac is feeling. The author also uses a very even, if not dispassionate tone throughout the story and I felt this to be appropriate, given the character’s situation. In order to survive difficult times, people often become numb. I felt this was the case here and it worked well for the story.

The Septembers of Shiraz would be a very good book club pick. There is lots to discuss here and the beauty of the writing makes it all the more worthwhile. Dalia Sofer is currently working on her next book and after reading Septembers, I can honestly say that I am eagerly awaiting its debut!

4 thoughts on “The Septembers of Shiraz, by Dalia Sofer”

  1. Ti – I wholeheartedly agree with your comment on my post about Parviz and Rachel. I was trying to think of a better word, or phrase, for it … the hope/wish for a higher power, without the unwavering faith/belief in one.Later on, in the passage about the broken mirror, Isaac says he only makes light of Farnaz’ superstitions because he doesn’t want her to know that he holds them too.(I’m reminded a bit of kids whose friends have told them there is no Santa Claus, but they “pretend” to believe, because they are unsure … and if you don’t believe, he won’t visit).Long-winded response; I couldn’t come up with a succint explanation!Good luck in the drawing, I’ll post the three winners’ names on the 1st.

  2. thanks for visiting! I’ve added your site to my Google Reader and should have time to explore later tonight.I’ve thought of a phrase that might work “hopeful agnostic” …although I’m not sure Parviz “wasn’t sure” about the existence of a higher power, maybe he just took it for granted.(and maybe I’m reading too much into that short paragraph of Dalia Sofer’s!)

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