As I mentioned in last month’s The Reading Spree: Hindi Writing Post, January 2020 will be dedicated to reading books from the Middle East.
Strangely given the US-Iran tensions that erupted by the end of 2019 and going into 2020, it felt prophetic to be reading works from this region.
And the first two books I picked to read were coincidentally from Iran as well.
The first book for 2020 was the non fiction memoir, My Prison, My Home by Haleh Esfandiari. The work recounts her imprisonment in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran on false charges of trying to destabalise the country. She is a scholar who works in US. She has also worked with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Middle East Program and has taught at Princeton University.
I was proud to have picked this book as the first one for 2020 because I usually stay away from non fiction works but this was a moving tale and a story of strength in the face of solitary imprisonment.
The second book I picked was A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri. This book is at once heartwarming but also melancholic as it narrates Saba, the protagonist’s search for her missing twin while growing up in a fictional village in north Iran, amidst Irani traditions and aftermath of the Revolution.
Will keep you posted about other books that I have read this month in the The Reading Spree post for January 2020.