9780618219230 / 0618219234

The Persian Bride: A Novel


Publisher:Mariner Books



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About the book:

Luminous, exotic, terrifying, and brutal, The Persian Bride is a complex and worldly revelation, a story that, like the river that runs through the city of Isfahan, "carries on its surface traces of an earlier existence, and may indeed exist to submerge them, like the plane leaves it carries down in autumn or the pieces of its burst spring dwelling." In 1974, 18-year-old John Pitt arrives in Iran. By turns violent and introspective, James Buchan's narrator is "a mere instrument of change in a situation made brittle by violence, treachery and the veil." The chador is in Islamic society a barrier both physical and literal, shielding women from the transgressive male gaze. When John crosses that barrier by falling desperately in love with and marrying Shirin Farameh, the daughter of a general in the Iranian air force, all the forces of history descend upon him.

In his sixth novel, Buchan coaxes forth shadows--political, personal, spiritual--to engulf both narrator and reader. Past and present, reality and illusion, form the warp and weft of a story as intricately woven as the Persian rugs on which Shirin treads (an obvious, but accurate, metaphor). Buchan was a foreign correspondent for 10 years, so it isn't surprising that he should offer so solid a portrait of a world on the brink. What is surprising, and infinitely rewarding, is the bittersweet poignancy with which he brings that world to brilliant and supple life. --Kelly Flynn

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