When Isaac Amin sees two men with rifles walk into his office at half past noon on a warm autumn day in Tehran, his first thought is that he won’t be able to join his wife and daughter for lunch, as promised.
It is September 1980 and the Amin family’s existence is turned inside out by the Iranian revolution. Isaac Amin, a gem dealer and a Jew is arrested and taken to prison on charges that are unclear. He does not know whether he will be released, killed or subjected to constant torture until he dies alone in prison. Farnaz, his wife, is unable to learn anything about Isaac’s arrest or confinement. She does know that her family and their lifestyle are at risk and she becomes less and less able to function in their home. Daughter Shirin is off balance at school as she tries to understand who are friends or enemies and what she can say to each. Son Parviz has been living in New York, sent away from the family to protect him from the revolution. An exile living among people who are not his own, he is friendless, out of touch with his family, and as his money runs out increasingly dependent on the Hasidic Jews with whom he lives. This is the story of how each finds a way to survive the painful ordeal of Isaac’s arrest. Inextricably tied to time and place it is also a story about a cultural revolution and how people who have thought of themselves as coexistent with a place may need to become independent of it. It is a hard and beautiful book.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: Septembers of Shiraz