Synopses & Reviews
A richly detailed and enchanting novel, set in 20th-century Persia.
Anahita, a nomad, learns that her father has promised her hand in marriage to a man she dislikes. Determined to have a say in her own fate, Anahita convinces her father to let her hold a contest, in which potential suitors must correctly answer the riddle she has woven into her wedding carpet. A diplomat, a schoolteacher, a shepherd, and a prince compete in Anahita's battle of wits, for the heart of this extraordinary girl.
Meghan Nuttall Sayres explores the art of weaving, the rhythms of nomadic life, and the beauty of the Muslim faith in this fascinating debut novel.
"Meghan Nuttall Sayres weaves the many-colored threads of Persian society into a beautiful novel, a cultural carpet, or qali." Hossein "Elvand" Ebrahimi, Founder, House of Transaltion for Children and Young Adult Books, Tehran, Iran
"Anahita's Woven Riddle is an enchanting tale of coming of age in old Persia....The story lingers sweetly in the mind long after the book has been closed." Susan Fletcher, author of Alphabet of Dreams and Shadow Spinner
"An intriguing fictional story that combines history and anthropology with the moving narrative about a young tribal nomadic girl in Iran....[An] inspiring tale of courage and assertion." Lois Beck, Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in Saint Louis, author of Nomad: A year in the Life of a Qashqa'i Tribesman in Iran
In Iran, more than 100 years ago, a young girl with three suitors gets permission from her father and a holy man to weave into her wedding rug a riddle to be solved by her future husband, which will ensure that he has wit to match hers.
About the Author
Meghan Nuttall Sayres is coauthor of Daughters of the Desert: Stories of Remarkable Women from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Traditions. Meghan raises sheep, spins and dyes her own yarn with natural dyes, and weaves tapestries. She has traveled in Turkey and Iran, where she met with carpet weavers, dye masters, and merchants in bustling bazaars to explore the age-old techniques and symbolism of rug-making in the Middle East. She lives in eastern Washington.