Posts: 12
Registered: ‎09-18-2007
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A Welcome from the Author

In 1980, when I was eight years old, my father was arrested and imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison, accused of being a Zionist spy. Over the following years and decades I often imagined him in his prison cell, hearing gunshots and counting his hours. I also remembered the disquieting effect of his sudden disappearance on our household. Writing this book was a way for me to get as close to his experience as possible. Through my protagonist, Isaac Amin, I was able to breathe the dank air of the prison cell and experience, to a small degree, the fear of imminent death. The book also offered me a visa back to Iran, to the tumultuous days of the revolution as well as to the calmer days preceding it. So much of that period had remained unresolved for me, and I was left with questions both painful and unanswerable. Through writing -- and in the process, remembering and imagining -- I was able to fill in some of the blanks. To better inform myself about prison life, I interviewed my father about his experiences and I read numerous accounts and testimonies written by Iranian prisoners (now in exile). This allowed me to better capture the mood of the prison, the terror, as well as boredom of the prisoners, and the motivations -- both legitimate and sadistic -- of the interrogators. I also isolated myself for long stretches of time in order to get a taste, however slight, of what it must be like to be removed from the outside world, from the places and the people that one has grown to love.

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The Septembers of Shiraz
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