The Persian Book Club

One of the unexpected joys of publishing a book is that I am sometimes invited by book clubs to speak about my novel. This can be slightly nerve racking because book clubs have savvy readers who are not afraid to read critically and question assumptions. This morning it was my absolute delight to spend time with a group of readers who all belonged to one nationality, and while they don’t call themselves that, they are the Persian Book Club. We met at the delightful Bodhi Tree Cafe and Bookshop. My novel The Historian’s DaughterΒ is a story with a connection to Iran, especially post revolutionary Iran. I was excited and nervous when invited to speak with this group of readers. I needn’t have worried. They were an amazing, erudite, honest and discerning group. It was gratifying that they had read and identified with my novel. As a writer, ‘writing other worlds’ can be fraught, especially when the lines between cultural exchange and appropriation are blurred. Our conversation ranged over topics as varied as Tehran’s propensity to attract dust, Eastern hospitality, and the writer’s insistence on leaving words from Farsi and Urdu untranslated. The morning ended with the group extending an invitation to me to visit Iran, and I hope I am able to go, some day, preferably with one of the group as guide. I have a feeling it will be not unlike ‘going home’ as I am steeped in this country’s history, folklore, sights, films, literature and have an affinity with the people that feels like a cellular memory. Thank you to all the members of the club. I look forward to visiting again.

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26 responses to “The Persian Book Club

  1. Shokoofeh AZAR

    Thank you Rashida for accepting our invitation. You are a fantastic writer who we admire and had joyful reading time with your novel. We wish you best of luck with your second novel. Xx

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  2. On behalf of “Read something book club” or as you call it “The Persian book club”, we were honoured to have you. As the group focuses on encouraging women to read more, it is very refreshing to have successful female authors in the club. Thank you very much for your time, we are looking forward to reading your new novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful experience Rashida, as I’m sure it was for the Persian book group to have you as their guest author!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Rashida for your lovely words, I enjoyed today’s discussion as much as reading the book, cannot wait to read your next book

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Rashida,
    It was our pleasure having you in our book club. Thank you for coming.
    It was a very delightful moment when we discussed about the ‘Historian’s daughter’ book, those lines that we really liked and the parts we less enjoyed.
    Looking forward to reading your next novel πŸ™‚
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely outcome, Rashida, and much deserved. I hope you are able to visit Iran one day and I’m sure my son would be very willing also to provide some tips and thoughts! Love, Louise

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful bookclub to experience. I have a number of Iranians friends, and would loved to have listened into the conversations and perspectives shared by the Persian Book Club!

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  8. Dear Rashida,
    It’s was our pleasure to read your book and was great to meet you today.
    Strong woman like you is always inspiring and I admire your hard work and dedication and the fact that you know how to stir your readers curasity!
    Looking forward to reading more from you.
    All the best!

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  9. Fascinating. Lovely connections. I have a friend who recently went to Iran and had a wonderful series of encounters there, with the culture and the people. She found the culture rich, and the people most friendly and hospitable.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Rashida,
    It was lovely to see you. I enjoyed reading your novel and the fact that your novel has many metaphors and symbols which talking with you hleps us on our understanding and the ways we need to figure them out, All in all make yesterday such a memorable day. Thank for that, and for being such an inspirational writer.

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  11. Thanks Christina. I do hope to visit someday, soon.

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  12. Enjoy reading your book and lovely to meet you dear Rashida. Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to reading your next novel!

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  13. Hi Rashida, how delightful to address this bookclub – you are a lovely author and a lovely person.
    If you go to Iran can I come too?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a rich and invigorating session that must have been. I’d love to have heard the responses from engaged and informed readers to such a sensitive and nuanced writer. The perfect combination.

    Liked by 2 people

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