A Novel


The New York Times Book Review

The Times calls Song of a Captive Bird “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.”

Read the full review here.

Vogue (Feb. 2018)

One of “February’s best books.”
“Sometimes, simply choosing whom to love is a political act, as in memoirist Jasmin Darznik’s first novel, Song of a Captive Bird (Ballantine), a historical fiction based on the life of the Persian feminist poet and filmmaker Forugh Farrokhzad.”

New York Times: 11 New Books We Recommend This Week

In selecting the novel as an “Editors’ Choice” book, the New York Times Book Review calls Song of a Captive Bird “superbly dramatized, each scene designed to stir up fury and longing.” The list also includes books by some of Jasmin’s favorite writers: Luis Alberto Urrea, Tom Sleigh, Geoff Dyer and Clarice Lispector.

Read the recommendation here.

Read it Forward

Jasmin Darznik on the women who have meant the most to her as a writer.
“Like most novelists, I’m obsessed with the question of what makes people who they are,” says Darznik. Nowhere is this fascination more evident than in her vast collection of memoirs and biographies about women writers and artists. “You can’t become what you can’t see,” she says, stressing how vital these books have been to her, particularly as an immigrant for whom “a writing life has always seemed a wildly improbable and dangerous thing.”

Read the article here.

Midday on WNYC

Debut Novel Celebrates Feminism and Art in 1950s Iran
Jasmin joins guest host Alison Stewart on New York Public Radio to discuss Song of a Captive Bird and Forugh, the Iranian poet who inspired the story.

Listen to the interview here.

The Type A Creative

Jasmin Darznik – Who Owns a Story?
A wide-ranging discussion for writers on topics like researching historical fiction, writing a memoir vs. writing a novel, and claiming the right to write about cultural taboos and historical figures.

Listen to the podcast here.

Secret Library Podcast

Jasmin Darznik on Song of a Captive Bird
Jasmin joins Caroline Donahue for a discussion of her new novel, plus broader topics like resilience, writing fiction about real people, fighting to live the creative life, and the importance of telling stories that bridge cultures and forge connections between people.

Listen to the podcast here.


Hunt for Forugh: Writing the Life of an Iranian Poet
In an essay for Signature, Jasmin explains how she discovered Forugh and her poetry–and what pushed her to tell Forugh’s story.

Read the essay here.

Matthew Félix On Air

Jasmin sits down for a radio interview with Matthew Félix, discussing the process of researching and writing Song of a Captive Bird. Includes an audio clip of Forugh reading her poem “The Wind-up Doll.”

Listen to the interview and Forugh’s poem (which starts at 56:19) here.

Lenny Letter

A Rebellious Poet Faces the Iranian Revolution
An excerpt of Song of a Captive Bird was featured on Lena Dunham’s site,

Read the excerpt here.