My Part of Her
“A searing novel, by Iranian exile Djavahery, of love and betrayal in a time of revolution…. Djavahery’s novel is an aching evocation of paradise lost, one that is impossible to regain, even in our narrator’s searching dreams. Vivid, shattering, and utterly memorable.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
For our unnamed confessor, the summer months spent on the Caspian Sea during the 1970s are a magically transformative experience. There, he is not the “poor relative from the North,” but a welcome guest at his wealthy cousin Nilou’s home and the gatekeeper of her affections. He revels in the power of orchestrating the attentions of her many competing admirers, granting and denying access to her would-be lovers and divulging intimate details of her life. In a moment of jealousy and youthful bravado, he betrays and humiliates an unlikely suitor, unwittingly setting into motion a series of events that will have drastic repercussions for all of them as the country is forever transformed by the Iranian Revolution a few short years later.
Over the course of twenty years, the lingering effects of that summer propel the friends in their vastly different responses to radicalization as the country is plunged into political and cultural turmoil with the rise of a strict religious regime. Their surprising final reunion reveals the consequences of revenge and self-preservation as they each must decide whether and how to forget the past. In My Part of Her, translated from French by Emma Ramadan, celebrated exiled Iranian author Javad Djavahery captures the innocence of youth, the folly of love, and the capriciousness of fate as these friends find themselves on opposing sides of the seismic rifts of history.
About the author:
Javad Djavahery was forced to leave Iran at the age of twenty, escaping to France as a political refugee, and is now based in Paris. Djavahery has produced several films and writes screenplays and fiction. He has two short story collections in Persian and two novels in French. My Part of Her is his English-language debut.
About the translator:
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, RI where she is the co-owner of Riffraff bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of a PEN/Heim grant, an NEA translation grant, and a Fulbright fellowship for her translation work.