“Song of a Captive Bird is a complex and beautiful rendering of [a] vanished country and its scattered people; a reminder of the power and purpose of art; and an ode to female creativity under a patriarchy that repeatedly tries to snuff it out.”-New York Times Book Review
“Enthralling and illuminating.”—Booklist (Starred Review)
“A thrilling and provocative portrait of a powerful woman set against a sweeping panorama of Iranian history.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Written with the urgent tenderness of a love letter, this soaring novel is a heart-breaker and heart-mender at once. Meticulously researched and vibrantly imagined, Song of a Captive Bird is a gorgeous tribute to the brave and brilliant poet remembered on its pages.”—Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow
SONG of a CAPTIVE BIRD
Whether gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, or sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glace, Forugh Farrokzhad was always a rebel. Though Iran was Westernizing in the 1940s, during Forugh’s childhood, most of the country still believed that women were not to be heard from. Yet, at age eleven, young Forugh began writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father–and a passion for words lodged deeply within her. When she ended up in a suffocating marriage at sixteen, she ran away and fell into a passionate love affair which only increased her creative wingspan, leading her to seek freedom and independence.
Her poems were considered both scandalous and brilliant; Forugh was at once a national treasure and the devil too. She persevered, living by her own rules, at the cost of love, friendship, and eventually her own life, cut tragically short at the age of 32, amid the violent upheaval of the budding Iranian revolution.
In subsequent years, Forugh’s poetry was banned, the presses that printed her work burned to the ground, and citizens forced to hide away their treasured collections of her verses. To this day, Forugh Farrokhzad represents the birth of feminism in Iran, and Jasmin Darznik uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and ecstatic turmoil of this iconic woman’s story.
ABOUT JASMIN DARZNIK
Jasmin Darznik’s debut novel Song of a Captive Bird is a fictional account of Iran’s trailblazing woman poet, Forugh Farrokhzad. It was selected as a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” and appeared on several “Best Of” lists in 2018, including Booklist, Reader’s Digest, and Newsweek. Jasmin is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her books have been published in seventeen countries and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among others.
Jasmin was born in Tehran, Iran and came to America when she was five years old. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. Now a professor of English and creative writing at California College of the Arts, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Her next book, a historical novel set in 1920s San Francisco, is forthcoming from Ballantine.