Book: Ruby Tear Catcher - An Iranian Woman's Story of Intolerance by Nahid Sewellcategories: Book, Fundementalism, Women, Islam, Middle East, Iran, Tehran, Religion, Leila, Sharia, Historical Fiction
Nahid Sewellabout this book: The Ruby Tear Catcher is a heart-warming story about Iran, based on real people and their lives. Everyday life in Iran changed radically with the arrival of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic, particularly for women. The story focuses on a young woman, Leila, an innocent victim of the rising tide of fundamentalism that swept Iran during the revolution. Jailed in Tehran's most-feared prison, Leila sustains herself through memories revealed in flashbacks to her childhood days in Tehran. She comes to the United States to attend college and falls in love with a Christian man; their relationship torn asunder due to religious influences. On the eve of her graduation, personal tragedy forces her to return to Iran where she experiences dramatic changes. She must adapt to Islamic law, dress in hijab and live under the restrictive rule of the Islamic Republic. Once a colorful landscape of cultural freedom, the Tehran of her youth has been replaced by a cruel, radicalized husk of a city where sexual segregation, religious fervor and an overriding sense of fear pervades the streets. In this time of growing tensions between Iran and the United States, this is a timely story about Leila's escape from a world of fundamentalism to freedom.
Though I risked homeland to write this book, I'd hoped to transport readers to Persia, the land of blue-tiled mosques, saffron rice and kabob and bazaars filled with merchants selling anything from spices to Persian rugs. I wanted to share the beauty of my culture and the warmth of my people. But I also wanted to expose how poorly women are treated in the Middle East and help empower women and girls. Using the tear catcher as a symbol, I draw parallels between Christianity and Islam. My hope is for readers to understand that we are all the same and should embrace, not discriminate against those who don't fit our mold. Most importantly, I want to give a voice to my sisters in the Middle East.
• Kathryn Koob, former Iran hostage writes "a wonderful story, full of much passion and compassion."
• San Francisco Book Review writes "A classically necessary book. I urge you to read it."
• Midwest Book Review writes "A fascinating read, very highly recommended."
• Foreword Book Review writes "It will appeal to fans of Reading Lolita in Tehran."
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
Video 1: Nahid Sewell on Connie Martinson Talks Books
Video 2: Eyez on Naperville March 2011 - Nahid Sewell, author of The Ruby Tear Catcher
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