The Space Between Us

      Zoya Pirzad
The Space Between Us

In a small town on the edge of the Caspian Sea, Edmond Lazarian and his best friend Tahereh pass their days playing together, drifting between the delights of beachcombing and the joys of the sherbet shop. Although Edmond is Armenian and Tahereh is the Muslim daughter of the school’s janitor, they remain blissfully unaware of the disquiet that ripples the surface calm of their close-knit community. Yet years later, when Edmond’s daughter chooses a Muslim to marry, tensions inevitably build. Unable to keep sidestepping the prejudices around him, Edmond is finally forced to make a choice, and one that will haunt him for years to come.

From the critically acclaimed author of Things We Left Unsaid, 'The Space Between Us' is a poignant, wistful story about belonging and otherness, pride and prejudice, and the pressures and family expectations that inform our decisions. Brilliantly painting the landscape of intricate social conventions and private emotional conflict, Pirzad has produced an intimate portrait of ordinary Iranians living everyday lives.

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    Things We Left Unsaid

      Zoya Pirzad
Things We Left Unsaid

This multi-award winning novel set in southern Iran follows an Iranian-Armenian housewife’s struggles to find fulfilment within her family’s expectations. A model 1960s wife and mother, Clarisse leads an unremarkable life. She has all she’s ever wanted: a well-respected engineer husband and three children, tucked away in a wealthy, middle-class neighbourhood of Abadan. Swaddled in the comforting monotony of cleaning, cooking, sewing, shopping, and dining at the Oil Company club, Clarisse’s greatest anxiety is keeping the peace with her critical mother, unmarried sister, distant husband, and quarrelling children. But her tranquillity ends forever with the arrival of an enigmatic Armenian family across the street. The debonair widower, his beguiling tween daughter, and his mother, a domineering aristocrat with an exotic past, steal their way into Clarisse’s home. And before she has time to understand what’s happening, passions, politics, and a plague of locusts have whipped up emotions that she never knew she had. Suddenly, there are options, opinions, desires, a wholly different life ready for the taking – but only if she can figure out what they are. Published to instant acclaim in Pirzad’s native Iran and winning multiple awards, including the prestigious Houshang Golshiri award for Best Novel of the Year, I Turn Out the Light is a humorous yet poignant insight into the hopes and aspirations of Iranians in the years that led to the Islamist Revolution. Zoya Pirzad is a renowned Iranian-Armenian writer and novelist. She has written two novels and three collections of short stories, all of which have enjoyed international success. Her most recent collection of stories, The Bitter Taste of Persimmon, won the prize for Best Foreign Book of 2009 in France. She grew up in Abadan, where this novel is set, and now lives in Tehran.

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