Booksmith is thrilled to host the author of The Good Daughter, Jasmin Darznik, as she launches her novel Song of a Captive Bird. Join us!
“Remember the flight, for the bird is mortal.”
A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who defied society’s expectations to find her voice and her destiny.
All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel—gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé. During the summer of 1950, Forugh’s passion for poetry takes flight—and tradition seeks to clip her wings.
Forced into a suffocating marriage, Forugh runs away and falls into an affair that fuels her desire to write and to achieve freedom and independence. Forugh’s poems are considered both scandalous and brilliant; she is heralded by some as a national treasure, vilified by others as a demon influenced by the West. She perseveres, finding love with a notorious filmmaker and living by her own rules—at enormous cost. But the power of her writing only grows stronger amid the upheaval of the Iranian revolution.
Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad’s verse, letters, films, and interviews—and including original translations of her poems—this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran—and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world.
“Written with the urgent tenderness of a love letter, this soaring novel is a heart-breaker and heart-mender at once—a gorgeous tribute to the brave and brilliant poet remembered in its pages.” -- Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow
Jasmin Darznik was born in Tehran and currently teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco. Her first book, The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life (Grand Central, 2011), was a New York Times bestseller, has been translated into eight languages, and published in thirteen countries. The memoir was a finalist for the Readers' Choice Award from the Library of Virginia and short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Darznik's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. She has received awards and distinctions from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Zoetrope: All-Story, Iowa Review, Norman Mailer Colony, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Bennington Writing Seminars, and the Corporation of Yaddo. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton.