My Bird by Fariba Vafi

$ 20.00

In this powerful story of life, love, and the demands of marriage and
motherhood, Fariba Vafi gives readers a portrait of one woman’s struggle
to adapt to the complexity of life in modern Iran. The narrator, a housewife
and young mother living in a low-income neighborhood in Tehran, dwells
upon her husband Amir’s desire to immigrate to Canada. His peripatetic
lifestyle underscores her own sense of inertia. When he finally slips away,
the young woman is forced to raise the children alone and care for her
ailing mother.

Vafi’s brilliant minimalist style showcases the narrator’s reticence and
passivity. Brief chapters and spare prose provide the ideal architecture
for the character’s densely packed unexpressed emotions to unfold on
the page. Haunted by the childhood memory of her father’s death in the
basement of her house while her mother ignored his entreaties for help, the
narrator believes she relinquished her responsibility and failed to challenge
her mother. As a single parent and head of household, she must confront
her paralyzing guilt and establish her independence.

Vafi’s characters are emblematic of many women in Iran, caught
between tradition and modernity. Demystifying contemporary Iran by taking
readers beyond the stereotypes and into the lives of individuals, Vafi is
one of the most important voices in Iranian literature. My Bird heralds her
eagerly anticipated introduction to an English-speaking audience.

Year: 2009

 

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