ACCLAIMED IRANIAN FICTION WRITER,
TO READ FROM HER NEW STORY COLLECTION
NYS Writers Institute, October 24, 2013
Taraghi’s newest work in English translation is The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories (October 2013), her first book to be published by a major American publishing house (Norton). The Booklist reviewer said, “Clean sentences and unembellished plots provide the framework for rich, layered, and haunting worlds…. The thread through each engaging tale is the quest for dignity, particularly as it relates to comfort and home, and the unavoidable awkwardness of exile.” Kirkus said in a starred review, “An Iranian writer prized internationally and among fellow writers of fiction deserves a wider American readership for this rich, provocative collection of stories.”
The daughter of an Iranian publishing magnate who was also a member of the Iranian Parliament, Taraghi grew up in a Westernized family in Tehran, though she spent much of her childhood in the company of her devoutly Islamic extended family. Educated at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in the 1960s, Taraghi returned to Iran to pursue graduate studies at Tehran University, where she eventually became a professor of philosophy. In the 1970s, she joined her students in protests against the human rights abuses of Shah Reza Pahlevi’s regime, but fled to France after the Islamic Revolution.
Taraghi’s other works in English include the story collection, A Mansion in the Sky (2003), and the novel Winter Sleep (1973, English 1994).
On the evening prior to Taraghi’s visit—Wednesday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m., in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center on the UAlbany uptown campus—the Writers Institute will screen THE PEAR TREE (Iran, 1998, 95 minutes, color, in Farsi with English subtitles), a film based on a short story by Taraghi, featuring a screenplay by the author, and directed by major Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui.
Intent on completing a new novel, an author with writer’s block returns to his family’s vacation house in the Iranian countryside, where he is beset by childhood memories. The film received the Silver Hugo for Best Feature at the Chicago International Film Festival. The UCLA Film and Television Archive said in 1999, “The one constant in [director] Mehrjui's work has been his attention to the discontents of contemporary, primarily urban, Iran. His latest, THE PEAR TREE, has been hailed as the apotheosis of the director’s examination of the Iranian bourgeoisie.”
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.