"Absorbing . . . a testament to the ways in which narrative truth-telling—from the greatest works of literature to the most intimate family stories—sustains and strengthens us.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
In this stunning personal story of growing up in Iran, Azar Nafisi shares her memories of living in thrall to a powerful and complex mother against the backdrop of a country’s political revolution. A girl’s pain over family secrets, a young woman’s discovery of the power of sensuality in literature, the price a family pays for freedom in a country beset by upheaval—these and other threads are woven together in this beautiful memoir as a gifted storyteller once again transforms the way we see the world and “reminds us of why we read in the first place” (Newsday).
BONUS: This edition contains a Things I've Been Silent About discussion guide.
Praise for Things I've Been Silent About
“Deeply felt . . . an affecting account of a family’s struggle.”—New York Times
“A gifted storyteller with a mastery of Western literature, Nafisi knows how to use language both to settle scores and to seduce.”—New York Times Book Review
“An immensely rewarding and beautifully written act of courage, by turns amusing, tender and obsessively dogged.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A lyrical, often wrenching memoir.”—People
Nafisi follows up the internationally acclaimed Reading Lolita in Tehran with another memoir, concentrating this time on her unhappy family life. Her mother was vocally nostalgic for her first marriage to a man who died two years after their wedding day, while her father sought the company of other women not so much for sexual excitement as for emotional stability. Nafisi's parents' relationship was so off-kilter that when her father, the mayor of Tehran, was accused of plotting against the shah and thrown into jail, one of his main hopes was that it would finally reconcile them. Nafisi grew up determined to "become the woman claimed she had wanted to be," but an adolescent education in England and an impulsive first marriage (followed by college in the U.S.) did not bring the happiness she sought. The calm candor with which she narrates her experiences, from childhood sexual abuse to a frightening confrontation when her second husband argues with a religious zealot over her unscarved hair, provides a solid emotional anchor and the intimate drama at her memoir's core, the conflicting frustration with a parent and the desire for connection, is one that will resonate with readers everywhere.