Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: Zahra's Paradise

 Zahra's Paradise, written by Amir and illustrated by Khalil (the authors have chosen to remain anonymous for political reasons), is a fascinating glimpse into Iran in the days following the uprising in June 2009. The first person narrative depicts one family's search for its missing son, who was last seen during the protests in Freedom Square. The intense emotions associated with the subject matter are supercharged through the book's graphic novel format.

Although the account is ficticious, it represents a composite of the repercussions that faced many Iranians following the uprising. Amir, an Iranian-American human rights activist, provides an insider's view of present day Iran, and Khalil's artwork is extraordinary. Throughout the novel, I found myself pausing to examine his intricate drawings.

You can read a sample chapter of the novel, which reached #5 on the New York Times Bestsellers list, at