Synopses & Reviews
Roger Housden traveled to Iran to meet with artists, writers, film makers and religious scholars who embody the long Iranian tradition of humanism, the belief in scholarship and artistry that began with the reign of Cyrus the Great. He traveled to the mountains of Kurdistan to learn from Sufis, whose version of Islam exhorts nothing but tolerance and love. From the bustle of modern Tehran to the paradise gardens of Shiraz to the spectacular mosques and ancient palaces of Isfahan, Housden met Iranians who were warm, welcoming, generous, intellectually curious, and who would recite the poetry of Hafez or Rumi at the slightest opportunity.
Saved By Beauty weaves a richly textured story of many threads. It is a deeply poetic and perceptive appreciation of a culture that has endured for over three thousand years, while it also portrays the creative and spiritual cultures within contemporary Iran that are rarely given any mention in the West. It is a suspense story that reflects on the philosophical and aesthetic questions of good and evil, truth and beauty. And finally, it is the story of a man in his sixties on a personal quest to discover if the Iran of his youthful imagination continued to exist, or whether it had been lost forever under a strict totalitarian regime. In Iran, Roger Housden was brought face to face with the reality that beauty and truth, deceit and violence, are inextricably mingled in the affairs of human life, and was forever changed.
As a young man British American author Housden (Chasing Rumi) found himself drawn to Iran—its poetry music and even the signature blue color of its mosques but only in his 60s was he able to visit the country and attempt to unlock its secrets. "The image of Iran as a dark and scary place" writes Housden "remains a difficult one to dislodge from the collective imagination…I wanted to see if the Iran of today could give substance and value to the images I had cherished for decades." A lyrical panorama of contemporary Persian politics and culture this book gives contour and nuance to our idea of Iran and introduces us to complex very memorable characters—from the artists who refuse to live elsewhere despite governmental limitations to the poetry quoting intelligence agents who threaten the author with prison. (May) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"As a young man, British-American author Housden (Chasing Rumi) found himself drawn to Iran its poetry, music, and even the signature blue color of its mosques, but only in his 60s was he able to visit the country and attempt to unlock its secrets. 'The image of Iran as a dark and scary place,' writes Housden, 'remains a difficult one to dislodge from the collective imagination...I wanted to see if the Iran of today could give substance and value to the images I had cherished for decades.' A lyrical panorama of contemporary Persian politics and culture, this book gives contour and nuance to our idea of Iran, and introduces us to complex, very memorable characters from the artists who refuse to live elsewhere, despite governmental limitations, to the poetry-quoting intelligence agents who threaten the author with prison. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
ROGER HOUSDEN is the author of some twenty books, including the best-selling Ten Poems series and the novella Chasing Rumi. English by birth, he has been a writer for the Guardian and an interviewer for the BBC. Housden emigrated to the States in 1998 and now lives in the Bay Area. Visit himat www.rogerhousden.com