Children of the Jacaranda Tree (Compact Disc)
Delijani was born in Iran's Evin Prison in 1983, as was one of the
characters in this intense, stunning debut novel. In the riveting
opening scene, a young woman who's about to give birth is shackled in
the back of a prison van, being roughly shuttled from one location to
another. This is an intimate story of the brutal effects of revolution
and religious tyranny upon three generations of families and loved ones.
The story emerges almost as a chorus of voices. Many characters weave
details of their losses and hopes into the narrative beautifully, and
sometimes horrifyingly. There is separation and betrayal. Lies are told;
but there is also great strength and courage in the search for the
comfort of family and place, like the fragrant jacaranda tree.
July 2013 Indie Next List
“Reading Delijani's novel is like peeping into the living rooms of families torn apart by counter-revolution measures in Iran. The intensely intimate moments she depicts and the highly personal struggles she focuses on show life under the regime through the eyes of those most devastated by its vicious tyranny. At the very start my heart was torn to pieces by the woman giving birth in prison-the very act of birth manipulated to be one more form of torture and her child relinquished to her own parents to raise. The struggles of three generations fill the pages, trying to hold their lives together, to find and sustain love, to support their families, to heal from unspeakable wounds, and to live with unthinkable absences. It is a deeply moving story of life, death, persecution, and survival.”
— Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
A country divided by revolution
A people united by love
Neda is born in Tehran's Evin Prison, where her mother is allowed to nurse her for a few months before the arms of a guard appear at the cell door one day and, simply, take her away. In another part of the city, three-year-old Omid witnesses the arrests of his political activist parents from his perch at their kitchen table, yogurt dripping from his fingertips. More than twenty years after the violent, bloody purge that took place inside Tehran's prisons, Sheida learns that her father was one of those executed, that the silent void firmly planted between her and her mother all these years was not just the sad loss that comes with death, but the anguish and the horror of murder.
These are the Children of the Jacaranda Tree. Set in post-revolutionary Iran from 1983 to 2011, this stunning debut novel follows a group of mothers, fathers, children, and lovers, some related by blood, others brought together by the tide of history that washes over their lives. Finally, years later, it is the next generation that is left with the burden of the past and their country's tenuous future as a new wave of protest and political strife begins.
Children of the Jacaranda Tree is an evocative portrait of three generations of men and women inspired by love and poetry, burning with idealism, chasing dreams of justice and freedom. Written in Sahar Delijani's spellbinding prose, capturing the intimate side of revolution in a country where the weight of history is all around, it is a moving tribute to anyone who has ever answered its call.