Monday, April 6, 2020

Review: Home Is a Stranger

Home Is a Stranger Home Is a Stranger by Parnaz Foroutan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've found a bit of a memoir stride this weekend, this is no. 3! After her father's death, Parnaz returned to Iran in her 20s (in 2001) to try to regain a sense of connection to his past. Along the way she broke most rules of respectability, had a few life-changing experiences, and struggled to bridge the gap between her two identities.

Among the many "mistakes" she made, she was reprimanded or arrested for "revealing too much of herself (being open)," laughing out loud, and showing a line of ankle while playing tennis. At one party she realized what she was saying was being portrayed by other women her age as "corrupting propaganda of the slut from Los Angeles."

The writing is beautiful, leading me to immediately look for more by this author (I was hoping for poetry but she does have a novel that came out a few years ago, huzzah!). I did find a few events in this book to feel a bit like she was asking a bit too much suspension of disbelief by the reader but they were beautifully rendered. Perhaps Iran really does contain that kind of magic.

I had a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss, and it came out March 24, 2020.

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