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March 4 @ 7:00 pm
The Cultural Services of the Consul General of France in conjunction with Restless Books and City Lights Booksellers present
reading from his new novel
My Part of Her
translated by Emma Ramadan, published by Restless Books
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 admirers, granting and denying access to her would-be lovers. But in a moment of jealousy and youthful bravado, he betrays and humiliates an unlikely suitor, 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 next twenty years, the lingering effects of that betrayal set the friends on radically different paths in the wake of political, religious, and cultural upheaval. Their surprising final reunion reveals the consequences of revenge and self-preservation as they each must decide whether and how to forget the past. Urgent and gorgeously written, My Part of Her 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.
Iranian novelist and short story writer, Javad Djavahery currently resides in Paris after being forced to flee Iran and claim refuge in France at the age of 20. For many years he lived as a political refugee, waiting to return to his home country. During these years, he owned nothing more than what could fit in a suitcase. When asked where he’s from, Javad responds by saying that he was born once in Iran, and then a second time at the age of 20 in Rennes, his adoptive city. He have not returned to Iran since his departure, which allows him “to preserve in my memory images of a country that no longer exists.” Shifting between literature and film, he has produced many films and co-written numerous screenplays including Red Rose (directed by Sepideh Farsi). A bilingual author, he has two short story collections in Persian. His first novel Soupir de l’Ange was published by Éditions de l’Aube. His second novel, Ma part d’elle (My Part of Her) was published in 2017 by Gallimard.
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, RI where she is the co-owner of Riffraff, a bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of an NEA Translation Fellowship, a PEN/Heim grant, and a Fulbright scholarship.