24 May / Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik [in Library Journal]
With her eloquent contralto, Mozhan Marnò exquisitely embodies the Persian poet and filmmaker Forugh Farrokhzad – her experiences as a young bride, maturation as a writer, hesitant then strident steps toward independence, and refusal to be silenced through the violent horrors of the autocratic Shah’s reign.
As the only daughter in a traditional family, the strict expectations of Forugh’s gender nearly stifle her spirit. She escapes her stagnating marriage, even if it means losing her adored young son. She seeks freedom and inspiration in love affairs, survives personal betrayals and public vilification, and finds contentment and companionship with a wealthy friend. Denigrated and celebrated both, Forugh becomes a hopeful beacon for Persian women during the widespread tumult of 1950s and 1960s Iran.
Tehran-born, U.S.-raised Jasmin Darznik’s (The Good Daughter) debut novel relies on “Forugh’s own poetry, letters, films, and interviews as source material.” The result is spectacular testimony – further heightened by Marnò’s vividly resonant narration – to a creative force whose searing voice has survived censorship, bans, and too-early death.