Salâm everyone !
This time, we are leaving to… Iran, thanks to a book found on the bookshelves of the municipal library in which I work. As I announced in the previous post, today I will present you with the novel collection Like Every Evening, by Zoyâ Pirzâd.
This rather short book gently invites us to discover the Iranian society, through the lives of its feminine population. In the novels, these Persian women are young girls, old ladies ; but often they appear as wives or mothers. Most of them stay at home or only go out for shopping. Their everyday concerns are ordinary, repetitive. What will I cook for dinner ? How will I use the household’s budget ? How are the kids, now that they no longer live at home ? These are unpretentious lives, under the aegis of the husbands – who seem yet more respectful that we would maybe “westernly” think of them. Each novel fixes a moment, from daily routine to brief rebellions against authority.
All these stories, linked together by the similarity of their characters’ dailylives, are also connected by smaller details : a green dress with white flowers which appears in one novel to reappear some pages later, a traditional dish cooked several times in different stories…
The writing style of Zoyâ Pirzâd, natural and clear, sometimes poetic to the point of wackiness, describes these bits of lives with great tactfulness. Word by word, we can feel the tenderness of the author for these mostly anonymous women. An empathy that is also voiced by a subtle but noticeable (or is it just me ?) denunciation : weary, withdrawn in a suffocating domestic world, the protagonists don’t even dare to dream of a different life anymore – or else they will be considered as unacceptable.
I can only regret the extreme shortness of most of these novels – three pages for some – which doesn’t allow us to get close enough to the characters. This regret is even accentuated by the reading of the longer texts, that are thus even more impressive and captivating. When I closed the book, I ended up a bit frustrated ; although, I will keep a affectionate memory of these humble destinies, so far away and yet feeling so familiar.
> The next review will be about The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.