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This title in other editions

Cry of the Peacock

by

Cry of the Peacock Cover

ISBN13: 9780743403375
ISBN10: 0743403371
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Poised between magic and history. An unusual and effective novel." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Marvelous..." New York Newsday

Synopsis:

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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James Wren, May 25, 2009 (view all comments by James Wren)
Finally--and just in time for what I was expecting to be another prolonged drought! The tears that wellspring from Nahai's Peacock will more than compensate for the otherwise lackluster reading now occupying shelfspace.

So, who needs Orlando and the mice (too expensive), a swimming pool and the bleach (in my dump of an apartment?), or reruns of Earl or Idol (you know they are coming), when everything you need for hours of "re-creation" in loss and grief--and safely so-- among the tales spilling forth from a restless, hunted and haunted centenarian, herself a Jewish fortuneteller under arrest by the Islamic Guard in Iran.

But this ain't your grandfather's Sheherazade, either. And absent are Sinbad, Ali Baba and the rest--everything familiar or preached, everything we might normally expect from the enduring wails of another caged bird (even if this one is trapped, as it happens, against the mythologized Persian sky gifted us in the tales of Bush I, CNN and more). . ..

As we suffer alongside the loneliness and despair we think we know from Peacock's curent situation, we find a refreshing--actually, effervescent--wetness bound to quinch our most strident of thirsts of life and love behind the endless hellishness of all-too-familar sultry summer. In a single feather we find a summer read worthy so long a wait.

Better yet, once you reread this one (and I have, twice this weekend), you'll find Nahai and her many incarnations of masterful (if I did not know better, effortless) storytellers who weave away on us lost (hi)stories and renewed dreams in the likes of at least three more recent novels.

True enough! A fortuneteller once warned me to "fear death by water," as she flipped one last Tarot card on the pavement at my feet. Too much Eliot, I joked as I put away my umbrella and settled for the sub-minimum norm that passed for wages, pallid skin given to an addiction to transfats and well-worn couches and a memory or two better left unexcavated.

This summer, at long last, I anticipate the palliation of Peacocks renewed promises (Flannery O'Connor found strength and solace in her own, I hear!) as I splash about, uninhibited and without the safety of galloshes.

. . .and lest I need to state the obvious, this is one summer freed from the predictability of well T-shirts and the like. . ..

It's about damned time, I say!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743403375
Author:
Nahai, Gina B.
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Sagas
Subject:
Iran
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Jewish fiction.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series Volume:
111-00
Publication Date:
20001131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.31 in 15.785 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Cry of the Peacock New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Washington Square Press - English 9780743403375 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Poised between magic and history. An unusual and effective novel."
"Review" by , "Marvelous..."
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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