A Novel



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

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

“Darznik’s knowledgeably invented characters and compellingly imagined scenarios, both of which are sensuous and harrowing, are deftly set within Iran’s political and social upheavals, and stay true to the essence of Farrokhzad’s audacious, dramatic, and creative life. . .Enthralling and illuminating.”Booklist (Starred Review)

“In this sumptuous debut novel, Darznik’s marvelous homage to Forugh captures the frustration and determination she must have felt to overcome the strictures of her environment, beautifully recreating her difficult path to fame.Publishers Weekly

“From the rise of the repressive Pahlavi dynasty to the 1953 coup bringing Mosaddegh to power, martial law in 1979, and the beginnings of revolution, Darznik weaves remnants of Forugh’s real poetry through this bewitching tale of a woman transcending the strictures of a patriarchal societyA thrilling and provocative portrait of a powerful woman set against a sweeping panorama of Iranian history.Kirkus Reviews

Song of a Captive Bird is a stunning and powerful debut. With rich empathy and gorgeous prose,Jasmin Darznik breathes life into one of Iran’s most iconic women, and the result is a beautiful novel that is as compelling as it is necessary.  Darznik captures both the restless individuality of the poet’s soul and the unremitting vitality of poetry itself. At a time when our country is at war with art and women, this courageous book is required reading.Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This

“Song of a Captive Bird an unsparing account of the necessity and consequences of speaking out.”-BookPage

Forugh Farrokhzad’s short life brimmed with controversy and rebellion. This feminist icon inspired Darznik’s imaginative debut novel, the story of a gifted iconoclast defying gender expectations in mid-20th-century Iran.” –MS Magazine

“Masterfully researched and smartly constructed, Darznik brings Forugh Farrokhzad to life as she captures the poet in all her manifestations: the troubled girlhood and failed marriage, the search for self and the discovery of voice, all against the backdrop of a changing, turbulent and volatile Iran. These are times for stories that bring one culture nearer to another and that is exactly what Darznik has done, pulling close the ears and hearts of girls and women and poets to tell Farrokhzad’s remarkable story.Laleh Khadivi, author of A Good Country

A beautiful writer! In elegant, intimate prose Jasmin Darznik portrays pre-Revolutionary Iran and a woman who transcended the prejudices of her time.— Susan Cheever, author of E.E.Cummings: A Life

“Forugh Farrokhzad’s determination to live freely and authentically, and to express that determination in her art, proved unbearable to the fundamentalist state. Jasmin Darznik brings her own poetic sensibility to bear on this tragic, but ultimately inspiring, act of creative remembrance.— Jonathan Dee, author of The Locals

“Darznik captures Forugh’s remarkable bravery and tenacity as she pursues her dream of becoming a published author and documentary filmmaker…Readers can’t seem to get enough of fictional biography, and this first novel from [Darznik] is a poignant, mesmerizing addition to the genre.”Library Journal (Starred Review)

Jasmin Darznik’s moving portrait of Forugh Farrokhzad does true justice to the brave voice of a poet, beloved by generations of Iranians, whose work should be better known. Alive and sensuous, Darznik’s prose mirrors Forugh’s poetry, making no separation between life and work, leaving open and unguarded that door we so often find closed.”Donia Bijan, author of The Last Days of Cafe Leila