PRAISE FOR LAST DAY OF AUTUMN
Intriguing, powerful, beautiful - a great read.
Dr. Liz Monument: Novelist, Liz Monument received her PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, Author of “The Eternity Fund” and “Itetation”
She was already in exile when she was still living in Iran, the Kurdish writer Essmat Sophie says in a YouTube video during a speech on International Women's Day. She was trapped as if in a deep well, and perhaps she is still there, but the author, who now lives in Oslo, gradually found liberation in writing. Not happiness, not miraculous healing, but comfort and scarring. She doesn't want to write stories that divide, but stories that connect. As a woman, as a Kurd, as part of a minority, as a migrant, as an author, and much more, she puts her finger deep into the wound of patriarchy, and even if the diverse plots of the present seven short stories have women's lives in Turkey, in Kurdistan, in the diaspora as their theme, they are above all one thing: universal, sad, strong, disturbing, diverse, and: stirring.
Ms. Susan flees her junkie ex-husband to Turkey to bring their children to safety from his violent acts. In a barely interrupted monologue, she tells a senior UN official, also a migrant, how she was also a prostitute back home in Iran, only unpaid, because sex with the threatening husband was free. She tells about her life in Ankara and how she manages to give her children a future despite everything. In the end, will the UN official hand her the second negative asylum and deportation decision for her and her children?
Layli, on the other hand, lives in a different world. In exile in Sweden, the 40-year-old writes about women's issues, about liberation. She has vivid fantasies and dreams of sex with an old man. Today, however, she cannot write a line. Nahid is going to give a lecture at her university, about "women and taboos". Layli has never met Nahid in person. But through their intense mail exchange, she recently revealed her big secret to Nahid: she is a virgin. An argument between the two women could make the secret public.
And there are also the three childhood friends Minoo, Sima and the first-person narrator. A story of sexualized violence and of slowly dying from it in a silent neighborhood. Of the cowardice of the fiancé, the double standards of the environment, which neither tolerates nor supports the singing and music-making of the girls, unless a weighty man stands up for it. Will there be a reunion of the girlfriends scattered in inner and outer exile?
A red-haired woman stands at the bus stop in wintry, icy-windy Oslo. She is only lightly dressed, but the cold doesn't seem to bother her. She stares into nothingness, not moving an eyelash. The brunette, at first attracted by the mysterious creature, secretly follows her. This story, whose ending is not revealed here, is, perhaps, about what can trigger us, in our fears, in the pain of losing our home, in growing older.
About paranoia, and how it suddenly destroys the promising career of professor Dr. Parvin Farzani, and then again about a mother, Ronaak, who has to leave her daughter behind because she goes into the armed resistance, about alienation and loneliness, and then again about the struggle of a young woman who resists the violence of men, also of those who, in the name of a Kurdish-Iranian party, carry before them slogans of equality and human rights, of solidarity and betrayal, and of much more, the magnificent seven short stories of Essmat Sophie are about.
One wishes that her new novel, announced for this year, will be published soon.
Kreutzer, Mary: Political scientist, head of the aid organization LeEZA, head of the Missing Link Department (Asylum and Integration, Caritas Vienna).
This book is a mirror to women’s suffering and hits on some weighty topics. Very powerful and moving. The writer carries you through the stories in such way that you feel you are in the vein of protagonist’s blood stream, feeling her pain, her fear, her confusion, her rage and anger. It is more than a story. It’s a life experience. Brilliant storytelling and Enchanting prose
The link of description of the book (Last Day of Autumn) from publisher’s website:
Goli Ghobadi: ( Author of “ Poppies on Rocks” ‘)