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The Septembers of Shiraz
Dalia Sofer
Adult Fiction SOFER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Sofer's family escaped from Iran in 1982 when she was 10, an experience that may explain the intense detail of this unnerving debut. On a September day in 1981, gem trader Isaac Amin is accosted by Revolutionary Guards at his Tehran office and imprisoned for no other crime than being Jewish in a country where Muslim fanaticism is growing daily. Being rich and having had slender ties to the Shah's regime magnify his peril. In anguish over what might be happening to his family, Isaac watches the brutal mutilation and executions of prisoners around him. His wife, Farnaz, struggles to keep from slipping into despair, while his young daughter, Shirin, steals files from the home of a playmate whose father is in charge of the prison that holds her father. Far away in Brooklyn, Isaac's nonreligious son, Parviz, struggles without his family's money and falls for the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord. Nicely layered, the story shimmers with past secrets and hidden motivations. The dialogue, while stiff, allows the various characters to come through. Sofer's dramatization of just-post-revolutionary Iran captures its small tensions and larger brutalities, which play vividly upon a family that cannot, even if it wishes to, conform. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In Sofer's debut novel, Isaac Amin, a Jewish businessman in Tehran, is imprisoned following the Iranian Revolution. As Amin attempts to survive his brutal treatment and convince his captors that he is not a Zionist spy, his wife, young daughter, and son (a college student in New York City) find various ways to cope with the radical change in their way of life and the knowledge that they may never see Amin again. This is a story that needs to be told, as a reminder of how political and religious ideologies can destroy individuals, families, and societies. Yet the Amins are not portrayed as innocent victims but flawed human beings who closed their eyes to the injustices of the monarchy under which they benefited. The family and political issues raised in the book are timely and ripe for discussion; this should be a popular book club choice. Recommended for all public libraries.-Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Isaac Amin
Male
Married
Imprisoned for being Jewish in a country where the Muslim religion is growing; has ties to the Shah regime country; watches the mutilation and execution of his fellow prisoners.
Gem trader

Farnaz Amin
Female
Married
Worried about her husband; struggling to keep from falling into despair.

Shirin Amin
Female
Isaac and Farnaz's daughter; Steals files from a friend whose father is in charge of the prison holding her father.

Parviz Amin
Male
Isaac and farnaz's son; nonreligious; lives in New York; struggling to survive without his family's help and money; in love with the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord.



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