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Publisher's Summary

Los Angeles Times best seller

A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who defied society's expectations to find her voice and her destiny

"A complex and beautiful rendering of [a] vanished country and its scattered people, a reminder of the power and purpose of art, and an ode to female creativity under a patriarchy that repeatedly tries to snuff it out." [The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)]

All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel - gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother's walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé. During the summer of 1950, Forugh's passion for poetry takes flight - and tradition seeks to clip her wings.

Forced into a suffocating marriage, Forugh runs away and falls into an affair that fuels her desire to write and to achieve freedom and independence. Forugh's poems are considered both scandalous and brilliant; she is heralded by some as a national treasure, vilified by others as a demon influenced by the West. She perseveres, finding love with a notorious filmmaker and living by her own rules - at enormous cost. But the power of her writing only grows stronger amid the upheaval of the Iranian revolution.

Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad's verse, letters, films, and interviews - and including original translations of her poems - this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran - and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world.

Praise for Song of a Captive Bird:

"Forugh Farrokhzad's short life brimmed with controversy and rebellion.... This feminist icon inspired Darznik's imaginative debut." (Ms.

©2018 Jasmin Darznik (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“If poetry is emotion rendered incendiary, then Forugh Farrokhzad was made of fire.... Song of a Captive Bird is an unsparing account of the necessity and consequences of speaking out.” (BookPage)

“Sumptuously captures a fierce and turbulent life, as well as a vanished country swept away by revolution.” (Newsweek

“A stunning and powerful debut... At a time when our country is at war with art and women, this courageous book is required reading.” (Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This

What listeners say about Song of a Captive Bird

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excellent audio book.

An amazing story. I'm ashamed that l knew nothing of Farouk's work or life before listening to this novel. It's fascinating, beautifully written and performed, although l found the manner of delivery somewhat flat at first.

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  • Susan
  • 25-06-2018

I really wanted to love this book, but...

Dapznik is a gifted writer--particularly her ability to describe. But what she was unable to do for me was create a character I loved and was able to root for. So many terrible things happened to the main character, but I wasn't drawn in to the emotion. Same with the plot. At one point she was in a terrible bind and her car was cut off by police and the very next sentence was "In jail I had a lot of time to think." She skipped entirely something that would have created sympathy and understanding for the character. I ended up simply quiting half way through the last chapter. I just didn't care.

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  • Mani
  • 03-06-2018

Captivating

I was mesmerized by this book; at times a biography; at times a novel; always respectful of the legacy of Forough Farrokhzad. I was unaware of most of the story, having moved to Iran at the young age of two in 1964. We lived in the small oil town of Masjid-I-Sulayman until we moved to Tehran in 1968, after Forough’s death. I had met the author Jasmin in Northern CA at a conference for Iranian Women. That’s where I bought the hardcover book, to support a fellow artistic Iranian-American woman (I’m a female Iranian-American architect). Now after hearing the audible book, I have such a tremendous understanding of our home country, the limitations under which Forough was raised, the reasons for her rebellion and the impact she left on the future generations of women; not only for her poetry and films, but mostly from this book, I truly understood the woman Forough. The narrator was very familiar with Persian terminology and kept a steady voice throughout, whether reading about a passionate love scene, a scary encounter, a heart wrenching moment or a confused mind. Even though I grew up in Iran for 15 years of my life, there’s so much I didn’t know until I read this book. Thank you Jasmin for opening our hearts by sharing this daring story with us.

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  • Louis Bernstein
  • 28-06-2020

Great book.

This was an outstanding book. Really moving and so well written. I went through it in about three days. Couldn't stop.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-09-2021

This book was so beautifully written

This book was so beautifully written. The narrator did a perfect job bringing the story to life

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  • Liezel du Plessis
  • 25-07-2021

Worth it

I couldn't stop listening. Such a rich and beautiful piece of historical fiction! One of my favorite books so far this year!

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  • Cece
  • 15-06-2021

Biographical fiction is always a challenge—

The author’s dedication to her subject is impressive and the first half or so held me fairly enthralled. Then it went a bit off the rails as the focus shifted to her lovers, and the book started to sound bit like a Harlequin Romance. I really didn’t need to know what she was wearing all the time, or what a man’s lips looked like the first time she saw him. On balance though, a worthy listen, especially if you want to get a feel for what Iran and it’s major city Tehran were like before the 1979 revolution. And an admirable reader- I chose it because the sample promised a solid performance.

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  • LINDA SCHROETER
  • 19-03-2021

Well written and narrated a beautiful poetic and tragic story

This is the best book I have listened to in a long time. A beautiful poetic and tragic story both fascinating and heartbreaking. Deeply moving the narration drew me in to the story deeply. Literary and visual Artists especially I recommend to you this book.

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  • Ellen
  • 31-05-2020

Stunningly beautiful and tragic

A fascinating portrait of an exceptional woman and the culture she lived in. Beautifully written and narrated.

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  • Miamim
  • 08-09-2019

Wonderful book

Loved the writing and story line of a young poetess in a world unsupportive of strong intellectual women.

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  • Karen Lutsky
  • 02-10-2018

A woman we should all know about

In light of the persecution of women in many places in the world, the experiences of Forugh Farrokhzad, although well researched but fictionalized in this novel, was sad and inspiring. I was unfamiliar with her poetry and her struggles to be free prior to reading the novel. I'm so glad I spent time learning more about her. This book was well written.

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  • Christineb
  • 03-03-2019

Fairly Good

The storyline itself had all the components for a riveting read Interesting facts and without doubt was constructed well When I finished the book it was apparent some thing was missing I didn't like the character I found her arrogant and self-serving Disappointing

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