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Caspian Rain

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Caspian Rain Cover

ISBN13: 9781596922518
ISBN10: 1596922516
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Review-A-Day

"Like drops of acid, Gina Nahai's words burn the pages of this moving novel about the fate of women in prerevolutionary Iran. This Iranian American writer...conjures up resilient women contending with a society in transition." Nasrin Rahimieh, Ms. Magazine (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the best-selling author of Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith, a stirring, lyrical tale that offers American readers unique insight into the inner workings of Iranian society.

In the decade before the Islamic Revolution, Iran is a country on the brink of explosion. Twelve-year-old Yaas is born into an already divided family: Her father is the son of wealthy Iranian Jews who are integrated into the country's upper-class, mostly Muslim elite; her mother was raised in the slums of South Tehran, one street away from the old Jewish ghetto.

Yaas spends her childhood navigating the many layers of Iranian society. Her task, already difficult because of the disparity in her parents' worldview, becomes all the more critical when her father falls in love with a beautiful woman from a noble Muslim family. As her parents' marriage begins to crumble and the country moves ever closer to revolution, Yaas is plagued by a mysterious and terrifying illness. But despite her ailment, when she learns that her father is about to abandon her and her mother — to immigrate to America with his mistress — Yaas is determined to save herself and her family.

At once a cultural exploration of an as-yet-unfamiliar society and a psychological study of the effects of loss, Caspian Rain takes the reader inside the tragic and fascinating world of a brave young girl struggling against impossible odds.

Review:

"'In her stirring fourth novel, Nahai explores the struggles of an Iranian family in the tenuous decade before the Islamic revolution. Twelve-year-old Yaas narrates her family's story, beginning before her birth at her parents' unlikely meeting. Her mother, Bahar, lives in the Jewish slums with her less-than-respectable family — among them, 'a seamstress who can't sew,' 'a cantor who can't sing,' a Muslim convert and a ghost. Bahar's fortuitous encounter with Omid Arbab, the son of wealthy Iranian Jews, results in a marriage that quickly disintegrates, due to class pressures and Bahar's desire for a measure of independence. Yaas then embarks on what is, at times, an overly lyrical account of her difficult and lonely childhood. She senses that she is an unwelcome disappointment to her mother, whose behavior toward her daughter ranges from inattentive to cruel. When Omid becomes involved in a public affair with the wealthy and beautiful Niyaz and Yaas begins going deaf, the Arbab family spirals out of control. Despite a clunky subplot involving Bahar's ghost brother and a too-easy resolution, the novel is a poignant tale of a 'damaged family.' (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'Caspian Rain,' the latest novel by Gina B. Nahai, is about divisions — between rich and poor, between East and West and between people who can and cannot feel. It begins about a decade before Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, with a proposal for a marriage that is doomed from the start. Omid is a young man from an elite Tehran Jewish family. He chooses Bahar, a working-class girl he meets on the... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Nahai's poetic and cathartic drama speaks for all silenced women, for all who are tyrannized." Booklist

Review:

"[B]oth a riveting family drama and compelling historical fiction....Richly detailed, emotionally intense, and tremendously moving." Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

"Nahai's alluring poetic style draws us into the lives of her female characters…captivating prose...a powerful testament to Iranian women's fight against oppression." Ms. Magazine

Review:

"Filled with hope and despair, Caspian Rain is Nahai's most emotional and inspiring novel yet. Nahai's heroine — the inspired and inspiring Yaas — learns the lessons of obedience, subservience, and forbearance, and then chooses a surprising and unexpected path." Lisa See, author of Peony in Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Review:

"Unexpected and heartrending, but also witty, elegiac, sophisticated and edgy. Caspian Rain is a beautiful book." Chris Abani, author of Graceland and The Virgin of Flames

Review:

"In Caspian Rain, Gina Nahai writes with subtlety and grace about the unappeasable forces of culture, class and family which shape the life of a young girl growing up in Jewish Tehran before the mullahs." Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint it Black

Review:

"Caspian Rain once more proves Gina B. Nahai's ability to create through her wonderfully lyrical prose a fictional world that, while rooted in a particular culture and history, is universally relevant and appealing." Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

Review:

"[A] beautiful study in disappointment and ineffable loss, in the conflict between duty and desire." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Nahai's story gives colorful narrative to the cultural forces at play in the years leading up to the arrival of Islamic fundamentalism in this most misunderstood country." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"This lyrical and literary novel is beautifully written but relentlessly sad." USA Today

About the Author

Gina Nahai is the best-selling author of Sunday's Silence, Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith (finalist for the Orange Prize), and Cry of the Peacock. She is also a contributing author to The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt, which won the 2005 Jewish Book Award. Her novels have been translated into sixteen languages and have been studied at a wide variety of educational establishments. Nahai's writings have appeared in many national publications and she has been a judge for the LA Times Book Awards. She is also a frequent lecturer on the politics of the Middle East and has guest hosted on NPR. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

ronmatthews, November 27, 2007 (view all comments by ronmatthews)
I was in Iran during the revolution. I saw both sides of the country. Interested in other ideas about the country from 1974 to 1979. My family and I were evacuated by the French in 1979. Khomeni would not let the Americans evacuate us!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
mstachenfeld, October 14, 2007 (view all comments by mstachenfeld)
The marvel of "Caspian Rain" is that it combines with an artist's exactitude the political oppression of Iran with a tragic story of a family's fate. A young girl, Jasmine, tells this story of grotesquely perceived class differences, cruel, empty snobberies, snubs from Jewish social climbers and complacent Muslims, all of which rain down on this child and her mother. Nahai poignantly reveals how the arbitrary rules of government and society punish anyone who is different and reveals how conforming to this lack of freedom distorts every choice and concept in her characters' lives. This is a poignant book about the denial of humanity. The rare acts of kindness shown to her characters provide hope within a heartbreaking, compassionate story. The writing is beautiful, the understanding of mass attitutes and the heartbreak of disability in a cruel, defensive society nothing short of brilliant.
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(7 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596922518
Publisher:
MacAdam/Cage Publishing
Subject:
General
Author:
Nahai, Gina
Author:
Nahai, Gina B.
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Deafness
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Jewish fiction.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
298
Dimensions:
9.23x6.36x1.00 in. 1.20 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Jewish

Caspian Rain
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 298 pages MacAdam Cage - English 9781596922518 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'In her stirring fourth novel, Nahai explores the struggles of an Iranian family in the tenuous decade before the Islamic revolution. Twelve-year-old Yaas narrates her family's story, beginning before her birth at her parents' unlikely meeting. Her mother, Bahar, lives in the Jewish slums with her less-than-respectable family — among them, 'a seamstress who can't sew,' 'a cantor who can't sing,' a Muslim convert and a ghost. Bahar's fortuitous encounter with Omid Arbab, the son of wealthy Iranian Jews, results in a marriage that quickly disintegrates, due to class pressures and Bahar's desire for a measure of independence. Yaas then embarks on what is, at times, an overly lyrical account of her difficult and lonely childhood. She senses that she is an unwelcome disappointment to her mother, whose behavior toward her daughter ranges from inattentive to cruel. When Omid becomes involved in a public affair with the wealthy and beautiful Niyaz and Yaas begins going deaf, the Arbab family spirals out of control. Despite a clunky subplot involving Bahar's ghost brother and a too-easy resolution, the novel is a poignant tale of a 'damaged family.' (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Like drops of acid, Gina Nahai's words burn the pages of this moving novel about the fate of women in prerevolutionary Iran. This Iranian American writer...conjures up resilient women contending with a society in transition." (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)
"Review" by , "Nahai's poetic and cathartic drama speaks for all silenced women, for all who are tyrannized."
"Review" by , "[B]oth a riveting family drama and compelling historical fiction....Richly detailed, emotionally intense, and tremendously moving." (starred review)
"Review" by , "Nahai's alluring poetic style draws us into the lives of her female characters…captivating prose...a powerful testament to Iranian women's fight against oppression."
"Review" by , "Filled with hope and despair, Caspian Rain is Nahai's most emotional and inspiring novel yet. Nahai's heroine — the inspired and inspiring Yaas — learns the lessons of obedience, subservience, and forbearance, and then chooses a surprising and unexpected path."
"Review" by , "Unexpected and heartrending, but also witty, elegiac, sophisticated and edgy. Caspian Rain is a beautiful book."
"Review" by , "In Caspian Rain, Gina Nahai writes with subtlety and grace about the unappeasable forces of culture, class and family which shape the life of a young girl growing up in Jewish Tehran before the mullahs."
"Review" by , "Caspian Rain once more proves Gina B. Nahai's ability to create through her wonderfully lyrical prose a fictional world that, while rooted in a particular culture and history, is universally relevant and appealing."
"Review" by , "[A] beautiful study in disappointment and ineffable loss, in the conflict between duty and desire."
"Review" by , "Nahai's story gives colorful narrative to the cultural forces at play in the years leading up to the arrival of Islamic fundamentalism in this most misunderstood country."
"Review" by , "This lyrical and literary novel is beautifully written but relentlessly sad."
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