publications

THE GIRL FROM THE GARDEN
RADICAL HOPE
 

publications

books

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A literary debut with this suspenseful novel of desire, obsession, power and vulnerability, in which a crisis of inheritance leads to the downfall of a wealthy family of Persian Jews in early twentieth-century Iran.

For all his wealth and success, Asher Malacouti—the head of a prosperous Jewish family living in the Iranian town of Kermanshah—cannot have the one thing he desires above all: a male son. His young wife Rakhel, trapped in an oppressive marriage at a time when a woman’s worth is measured by her fertility, is made desperate by her failure to conceive, and grows jealous and vindictive. Her despair is compounded by her sister-in-law Khorsheed’s pregnancy and her husband’s growing desire for Kokab, his cousin’s wife. Frustrated by his wife’s inability to bear him an heir, Asher makes a fateful choice that will shatter the household and drive Rakhel to dark extremes to save herself and preserve her status within the family.

A collection of letters—to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged—written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists. Provocative and inspiring, Radical Hope offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear, in view of the recent US presidential election.

Including letters by Junot Díaz, Alicia Garza, Roxana Robinson, Lisa See, Jewelle Gomez, Hari Kunzru, Faith Adiele, Parnaz Foroutan, Chip Livingston, Mohja Kahf, Achy Obejas, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Cherríe Moraga, Kate Schatz, Boris Fishman, Karen Joy Fowler, Elmaz Abinader, Aya de León, Jane Smiley, Luis Alberto Urrea, Mona Eltahawy, Jeff Chang, Claire Messud, Meredith Russo, Reyna Grande, Katie Kitamura, iO Tillett Wright, Francisco Goldman, Celeste Ng, Peter Orner, and Cristina García.

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Home Is a Stranger.jpg

Unmoored by the death of her father and disenchanted by the American Dream, Parnaz Foroutan leaves Los Angeles for Iran, nineteen years after her family fled the religious police state brought in by the Islamic Theocracy. From the moment Parnaz steps off the plane in Tehran, she contends with a world she only partially understands. Struggling with her own identity in a culture that feels both foreign and familiar, she tries to find a place for herself between the American girl she is and the woman she hopes to become. Written with the same literary grace and passion as her fiction, Home Is a Stranger is a memoir about the meaning of desire, the transcendence of boundaries, and the journey to find home.

 

in the press

THE GIRL FROM THE GARDEN

“Foroutan writes of a family’s unraveling in a powerful story that will vividly live on in the reader’s memory and imagination. Brilliant!”

—  ELLIOT BAY BOOK COMPANY

in the press

THE GIRL FROM THE GARDEN

“A powerful and moving novel about the devastating choices women face when their worth is tied to their wombs but not themselves. Parnaz Foroutan takes the timeless themes of love, honor, sacrifice and betrayal and makes them new.”

—  GLORIA STEINEM

about

I'm nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there's a pair of us- don't tell!

They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

                                   

                                  -Emily Dickinson

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