Synopses & Reviews
Terence O'Donnell lived in Iran from 1957-71, operating a farm from 196370 before returning to America. "Seven Shades of Memory is his first collection of short stories. The stories share the theme of cultural collision, either as East meets West, or as members of different cultures within Iran tentatively interact. These stories show his prescient understanding of the multifaceted nuances of Persian culture and the Westerners who attempt to navigate through it. In "The Tree and The pool" an American Consul's desire for a swimming pool sets off a chain reaction of cross-cultural misunderstanding. The title characters in "The title characters in" The Princce and The Backer" live next to one another but i habit separate social strata. One day they are brought together and a subtle friendship blossoms. "The Women and The Ladies" is a short vignette about two American women tourists whose conversation with a waiter reveals the cultural milieus in which each side lives. "The Holy Men of Isfahan" brings together Muslims, Jews, and Christians in a conversation, sorrowfully underscoring how religion separates, despite the best of intentions. A wealthy Norwegian family vacations in an unfashionable part of Iran in "The Duck Hunt." In "The Stone of Love" a man takes his holiday in a hotel on the shores of the Caspian Sea where one evening he has a surreal vision a unique jewel. Finally, "Mrs. Cahn" is an elderly American philanthropist on a museum tour of Iran. From a bench she takes small pleasures in her surroundings and the local tribespeople who gather around her. Touched by their hospitality and respect, she is able to find peace at last.
Table of Contents
The tree and the pool -- The prince and the baker -- The women and the ladies -- The holy men of Isfahan -- The duck hunt -- The stone of love -- Mrs. Cahn.