"With a crisp and piercing narrative, and the hidden treasures of a born but hitherto bashful storyteller exposed for the very first time, Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet’s authorial voice is revelatory, miasmatic, punctilious, pink-on-the cheek but steely-in-purpose, and here to stay, and here to speak. Not since Shahrnoush Parsipour’s Women without Men, or Simin Daneshvar’s Savushun, has a novelist erupted with such sudden but measured volcanic but life-affirming, force."
—Hamid Dabashi, author of Theology of Discontent
"Kashani-Sabet gathers together the scattered
narratives of women’s lives in both Iran and the United
States, and weaves them together in a story that says
much about the ways women continually reinvent and
remake themselves and gives voice to their resilient
spirit. A wonderful debut."
—Persis Karim, author of Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been:
New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora
Set during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the ensuing Iran-Iraq
War of 1980–1988, the novel Martyrdom Street chronicles the lives of
three Iranian women, Fatemeh, Nasrin, and Yasaman. These ordinary
women tell their intimate stories of love, loss, betrayal, and hope in
intertwining narratives that unfurl simultaneously in America and Iran.
Kashani-Sabet’s characters endure both the familiar struggles of family relationships
and searing political upheavals. A mother and daughter come
to terms with the burdens of separation imposed by politics and exile. A
young woman grapples with the haunting memories of an assassination.
The poignant confessions of these skillfully wrought characters give voice
to the travails of two generations of Iranians and Iranian Americans.
Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is associate professor of history and director
of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the
author of Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804–1946 and
Conceiving Citizens: Women, Sexuality, and Religion in Iran (forthcoming).
6 x 9, 120 pages