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Dalia Sofer: The Septembers of Shiraz

(Fiction, 340 pp. 2007)

Just after the Iranian Revolution, Jewish gem trader Isaac Amin is falsely imprisoned for being a spy. His wife Farnaz struggles to keep from slipping into despair, while his young daughter Shirin tries to take matters into her own hands. Far away in Brooklyn, Isaac’s son Parviz, though not religious, falls for the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord. Sofer masterfully captures the small tensions and larger brutalities that sharply impact a family unable to conform.

Reading Guides

●   Discussion Questions from the Jewish Community Library

●   Reading Guide from HarperCollins

●   Reading Guide from LitLovers

●   Reading Guide from the Religion Action Center of Reform Judaism

SelectedReviews and Articles

●      Iran, the Holocaust, ‘Septembers of Shiraz’ — and Me by Curt Schleier, JTA, June 15, 2016

●      Review by Tova Mirvis, The Jewish Reader, October 2009

●     Transcribed interview with Dalia Sofer at Columbia University, March 3, 2009

●      Review by Claire Messud, New York Times, August 5, 2007

●      Review by Rebecca Milzoff, Forward, August 24, 2007

●      Review by Caroline Miller, The Guardian, September 19, 2008

●      Review by Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune, August 11, 2007

●      Review by Paula Lubin, Jewish Book Council

Septembers of Shiraz-related Multimedia

●      Video: “The Septembers of Shiraz: A Historic Look at the Iranian Revolution” (6 min.)

Selected Articles on Iranian Jews

●     Bibliography on Persian Jewry from the Jewish Community Library

●     The Iranian Revolution Still Haunts Its Jewish Survivors by E. Gheytanchi, Forward, May 8, 2018

●     I Want to Die in My Homeland’: Why Some Iranian Jews Stay by Majid Rafizadeh, Tablet, June 29, 2017

●     My Ashkenazi Eyes Get a Rare Glimpse into Jewish Iran by Ron Lezell in J, the Jewish News of Northern California, March 22, 2017

●     How Iranian Jews Are Responding to Trump’s Refugee Ban by David Wolpe, The Atlantic, Jan 31, 2017

●     How Iran’s Jews Survive in Mullahs’ World by Larry Cohler-Esses, The Forward, August 18, 2015

●     How Jew-Friendly Persia Became Anti-Semitic Iran by Robert S. Greenberger, Moment Magazine, June 14, 2013

●     Iran’s Jews: Tolerance or Veiled Persecution? by Kobi Nahshoni, Ynet News, March 27, 2013

●     Days of Darkness, Days of Light: The Unknown Story of Iran’s Jews with Dr. Houman Sarshar in Reform Judaism

●     The Jewish Community in Shiraz, from Beit Hatfutsot The Museum of the Jewish People