A Novel


“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)


“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


“Song of a Captive Bird gives a keen glimpse into the life of Forugh Farrokzhad, Iran’s first modern female poet. In the years since their publication, Farrokzhad’s verses have given us worlds, and now, finally, here in Darznik’s knowledgeable and elegant book do we have the cosmos in which Farrokzhad own life spun. Masterfully researched and smartly constructed, Darznik brings Farrokhzhad to life as she captures Forugh 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.”

—Laleh Khadivi, author of A Good Country


“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 Café Leila


“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


“Song of a Captive Bird is a stunning and powerful debut. With rich empathy and gorgeous prose, Jasmin Darzink 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. Darzink captures both the restless individuality of the poet’s soul and the unremitting vitality of poetry itself. This courageous book is required reading.”

—Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This