By Azar, Shokoofeh
This book is an extraordinarily powerful and evocative literary novel set in Iran in the period immediately after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Using the lyrical magic realism style of classical Persian storytelling, Azar draws the reader deep into the heart of a family caught ...in the maelstrom of post-revolutionary chaos and brutality that sweeps across an ancient land and its people. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is really an embodiment of Iranian life in constant oscillation, struggle and play between four opposing poles: life and death; politics and religion. The sorrow residing in the depths of our joy is the product of a life between these four poles.Read more
Shokoofeh Azar was born in Iran in 1972, just 7 years before the Islamic revolution. Despite spending most of her childhood and early career in a relatively hostile environment for independent writing, Shokoofeh's early interest in writing and art was sparked by her father who was an Iranian intellectual, author, poet and artist. She studied literature at high school and university, later working as a journalist for an independent newspaper for 14 years. As well as having numerous short stories, reports, interviews and articles published in the Iranian media, her other publications include two collections of short stories: one children's book; and a Companion in Writing and Editing Essays in the Persian Literary Encyclopedia, which won the prize for The Best Book in Iran in 1997. In 2004, Shokoofeh became the first Iranian woman to backpack and hitchhike along the Silk Road: from Iran to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan and India. Reports and photos of this 3-month journey were published in an Iranian newspaper, to great acclaim. In 2011, with independent reporting increasingly coming under threat, Shokoofeh was forced to leave Iran with her family and was accepted as a political refugee by Australia. She continues her writing and is also gaining a reputation as an artist with a number of successful exhibitions in Perth, where she lives. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is Azar's first novel to be translated into English, and her latest work of fiction.
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