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The Virgin of Solitude
A Novel

Taghi Modarressi

Translated from the Persian by Nasrin Rahimieh

Cloth $29.95    |    978-0-8156-0933-9    |    2008

"A closely observed study of estrangement, telling the parallel stories of teenage Nuri, a blond, blue-eyed Iranian, and his Austrian grandmother."

"Taghi Modarressi represented the best of his generation of writers: an openness, a generosity of spirit, a playful seriousness and a love for writing that cut across the boundaries of time, and limitations of culture and politics."
—Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

On the streets of Tehran, Nuri Hushiar knows his blond hair and blue eyes attract attention. While he relishes the attention he cannot avoid the uneasy feeling of being out of place. This sense of being exceptional and estranged is the hallmark of his character and the focus of his struggle in Taghi Modarressi’s last stunning novel.

Set around the time of the revolution, The Virgin of Solitude follows the parallel lives of a transplanted Austrian woman, who has made Iran her home, and her grandson, Nuri, who desperately misses his mother but hides his longing behind a veneer of teenage bravado. As the turmoil of the revolution envelops the country, grandmother and grandson witness the dissolution of social, class, and political order, while searching for a sense of belonging.

Nasrin Rahimieh’s translation captures the tone and mood of the original, rendering both Modarressi’s subtle humor and assured prose with effortless precision.

View other books on Middle East Literature in Translation

Taghi Modarressi was born in Iran and educated as a doctor. He continued his education in the United States and became a member of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is the author of The Book of Absent People and The Pilgrim’s Rules of Etiquette.

Nasrin Rahimieh is Maseeh Chair and Director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine, where she is also professor of comparative literature. She is the author of Missing Persians: Discovering Voices in Iranian Cultural History, also published by Syracuse University Press.

6 x 9, 384 pages

Virgin of Solitude

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