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Cry of the Peacockby Gina B. Nahai
Synopses & Reviews
Peacock the Jew is nine years old and living in the Esfahan ghetto when she marries Solomon the Man. She is the descendant of a three-thousand-year-old tribe of Jews — the oldest community in diaspora, a people largely unknown to the outside world. He is a singer in the royal court, a wealthy man known for his good looks and his charm. A decade later, she will become the first woman in her ghetto ever to have left her husband.
Against the backdrop of two hundred years of history, Cry of the Peacock traces the story of a Jewish woman caught in the turmoil of twentieth-century Iran. Told in a series of wondrous linked tales that weave a rich and epic tapestry, it is a magical journey inside the Iranian nation and its people. For the first time in any Western language this story of Iranian Jews offers an insider's glimpse into one of the most critical parts of the world today.
"Poised between magic and history. An unusual and effective novel." San Francisco Chronicle
"Marvelous..." New York Newsday
Weaving a rich narrative tapestry of political, religious, and startlingly personal family history across two centuries of Middle Eastern history, Cry of the Peacock is a magical and mythic achievement that recalls the best of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison.
A politically outspoken 116-year-old Jewish woman, Peacock has been thrown into prison by revolutionaries loyal to the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. Complicating Peacock's current predicament is the haunting legacy of her ancestor, Esther the Soothsayer, a wizened prophet thrice betrayed — by her husband, by the Persians, and by her own Jewish community in the twilight of the eighteenth century. Across the generations bridging these two women, Gina Nahai's captivating novel is a wondrous illumination of Persian, Iranian, and Jewish history.
About the Author
Gina B. Nahai has lived in Iran, Switzerland, and the United States. The author of the award-winning Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith, she is the winner of the Los Angeles Arts Council Award for Fiction, and has received international acclaim for her novels. A frequent lecturer on Iranian Jewish history and the topic of exile, she has studied the politics of Iran for the U.S. Department of Defense. She is currently adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Southern California's Master of Professional Writing program. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
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