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Persian Silence

Sara Aharoni

Iran 1978. Violent riots in Tehran against the shah. The pro-Western country becomes an Islamic republic ruled by Ayatollah Khomeini. Pari, a cute, clever and captivating Jewish teenager is in love with her cousin Mourad Levy, and they get engaged. Like any lively girl of her age, Pari is dying to don a wedding dress and become one with her beloved.

The fall of the shah and the Islamic revolution force the couple repeatedly to postpone their wedding. Eventually they do get married, but as Jew-hatred worsens in Tehran and extreme Islamism makes their dear city into a strange and menacing place, they decide to run away. By now they have two small children, but they are determined to find a new, safe and free place to live.

Their escape route is filled with danger, anxiety and breathtaking drama. With their little boy and baby girl, leaving their parents behind, Pari and Mourad flee across fields in remote villages and climb the mountain ranges of Kurdistan on horseback, finally crossing into Turkey to fly to Israel.

From the tapestry of lives that emerges and the personal stories of Pari and Mourad, we get a picture of Iranian Jewry’s relations with their Muslim neighbors under the shah and in the days of the ayatollahs’ regime. Sarah Aharoni also gives us a wonderful portrait of the traditional ways of life in Tehran, mixed with modern western influences. She depicts the character of the city, its charm and beauty contrasting with its poverty and simplicity; the people’s longing for change, the hopes they pinned on the new ruler, and the inevitable disillusionment.   





Current events in Iran make Persian Silence engrossing and compelling … Sara Aharoni’s novel is a Persian delight … After the colorful beginning, the main part of the book is an iridescent  white-hot core … Just as Tolkien fans recognize words from the languages used in the kingdoms that the beloved British author invented, I understand the Persian words that I heard my parents use  and that Aharoni weaves naturally into the plot… Aharoni executes the task heroically.

Ronit Purian, Haaretz


In recent years, Sara Aharoni has been in the front row of the best Israeli writers, and her literary fingerprint can be found stamped on the consciousness of many readers. In a clear and accurate voice she spins personal tales that connect with a historical background. It is a unique voice that transports the reader each time on a riveting new journey … The author weaves the captivating story of Pari and Mourad with great sensitivity and skill … She masterfully recounts the way of life of the Jews in Iran and the fabric of their relations with their Muslim neighbors …  A mesmerizing, dynamic, eventful and intriguing novel. It is written in rich language, peppered with similes and metaphors … The prose is polished and engrossing, providing a a good read as well as information about what happened in Iran at the time of the revolution.

Ely Leon, Literary blog


Title Persian Silence
Author’s Last Name Aharoni
Author's First Name Sara
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2017
No. Pages 343 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Shtika Parsit
Representation Represented by ITHL
"An original, extraordinary book" The Brenner prize committee
Congratulations to Noga Albalach, winner of the 2018 Brenner prize for her book "The Old Man (Farewell)".
Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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