AN INTIMATE RETELLING OF THE TRAGIC LIFE OF IRAN’S OWN SYLVIA PLATH
This immensely moving reconstruction of Farrokhzad’s voice aims to bring the celebrated feminist poet to the attention of a whole new, Western audience
Forough Farrokhzad, poet, mother, feminist, radical, was one of the most iconic dissenting voices in modern Iranian history. Often referred to as Iran’s Sylvia Plath – for her highly original, confessional writing style as much as her battle with depression and tragic death – she went against the grain by challenging widely held conventions in turbulent mid-twentieth-century Iran, where the forces of modernity were under siege from reactionary religious fervour.
Divorced at nineteen and shorn of the right to see her son by a benighted legal system, she spent much of her life attempting to reconcile a deep sense of personal loss through her guiding principles of artistic integrity and equality for society’s outcasts. Her acclaimed documentary The House Is Black – widely considered the genesis of Iranian New Wave cinema – was devoted to humanising the inhabitants of a leper community and led to the adoption of her second son Hossein from the colony itself. She died from a motor accident in 1967 aged just thirty-two.
In this fictional reimagining of Forough’s life, Maryam Diener brilliantly resurrects her voice to explore the conflicting needs of family, love, emotional truth and freedom of expression in a highly patriarchal, conservative society.
Maryam Diener was born in Iran and attended the Sorbonne in Paris before receiving her Masters from Columbia University. She is the author of The Moon (1998) and Sans Te Dire Adieu (2007), her debut novel. In 2012 she co-founded Éditions Moon Rainbow, a publishing company specialising in limited-edition books on poetry and the visual arts including There Must Be Someone to Rewrite Love, which features contributions from Bei Dao and Francesco Clemente.