Read The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories by Goli Taraghi Sara Khalili Online


Rich in characters both whimsical and deeply poignant, humorous and real, the stories of Goli Taraghi have made her one of the world's most beloved contemporary writers from Iran. A best-selling author in her native country and widely anthologized in the United States and around the world, Taraghi's work is now made fully accessible to an English-speaking audience in thisRich in characters both whimsical and deeply poignant, humorous and real, the stories of Goli Taraghi have made her one of the world's most beloved contemporary writers from Iran. A best-selling author in her native country and widely anthologized in the United States and around the world, Taraghi's work is now made fully accessible to an English-speaking audience in this standout and long-awaited volume of selected stories.Drawing on childhood experiences in Tehran during the reign of the Shah, her exile in Paris, and her subsequent visits to Tehran after the revolution, Taraghi develops characters and tales that linger in one's mind. In the title story, a woman traveling from Tehran to Paris is obliged to help an old woman--the Pomegranate Lady--find her way to her fugitive sons in Sweden. In "The Gentleman Thief," a new kind of polite, apologetic thief emerges from the wreckage of the revolution. In "Encounter," a woman's world is upended when her former maid becomes her jailer. And in "The Flowers of Shiraz," a group of teenagers finally manages to coax a shy schoolmate out of her shell--only to once again encounter tragedy.Reminiscent of the work of Nadine Gordimer and Eudora Welty, Taraghi's stories capture universal experiences of love, loss, alienation, and belonging--all with an irresistible sense of life's absurdities....

Title : The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393063332
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 323 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories Reviews

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    2018-12-12 07:59

    I read the first 5 stories of this collection (through page 179). The first one was decent and unexpectedly funny, but after that they became more a chore than a pleasure. The characters and settings are misty and unformed. All the stories are in the first person, sometimes told through the point-of-view of a minor character who nevertheless relates all of the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist like an omniscient narrator even though he or she has no way of knowing this information. The translation is very fluid, but . . . maybe a little too much so; the stories feel as if they were written in English, but blandly. After pushing myself through four stories out of a sense of obligation, I decided to be done.

  • Orsolya
    2018-12-09 05:48

    Won an ARC copy from Goodreads GiveawaysLiving in Los Angeles means that I have many acquaintances whom are first-generation Iranian having escaped Iran during the Revolution. Goli Taraghi is one of the many Persians having lived through this tumultuous time and left Iran for life in Paris. Taraghi has since become one of the most well-known contemporary Iranian authors. She compiles some of her work in “The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons: Selected Stories”.“The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons” is a collection of short stories centralizing on the theme of the Iranian Revolution. Taraghi infuses each story with personal emotions, events, and reactions (this is quite evident); giving each story a passionate and almost memoir-like feel. Yet, despite its personal touch, the stories are all believable and extremely real/vivid whether the narrator is male, female, an adult, or a child. Taraghi knows her characters well, producing likeability and accessibility. Each story is intelligent, has literary merit, and has an underlying depth filled with morals and symbolisms. Don’t fear that these are merely political, as the stories focus more on the life/feelings of the average person during the Revolution. A dose of lighter fiction is added in order to water down the heaviness and create a strong pace. Naturally, some stories are better than others but overall, “The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons” is a strong, cohesive whole. Shunning perfection, there are some repetitive areas within the stories which dampens some creative merit. Luckily, this isn’t avid enough to negatively affect the enjoyment as each story is compelling and encourages page turning within individual stories and in the book, overall. This is also supplemented by each story’s format which varies in style: dialogue, stream of consciousness, different points of person, etc; allowing the reader to experience a range of tones and avoiding boredom. The duplicity and plot symbolism in “The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons” is astounding. The reader will be entertained by what feels like a novel storyline and then will have an “Ah ha!” moment when the true meaning (usually relating to government and social classes, freedom, and suffrage) becomes clear. Taraghi’s views are subtle, yet crisp and strong. This depth is an underlying history lesson which will teach readers about the Revolution (although a better painting of the background politically would be welcome). “The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons” remains captivating until the last story (although I personally would have changed the order, somewhat) and the entire collection leaves a lasting image of the Iranian people and life during the Revolution which incites further research on the topic. Taraghi is clearly a masterful writer and I would certainly read a longer fictional work (or other stories, as well) written by her. “The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons” is a terrific compilation in the short story genre and is much recommended for readers interested in Iran, the Revolution, or just short stories, in general.

  • Melanie Bentley
    2018-11-17 05:50

    The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons is a conglomeration of short stories about Iranian women and their complicated lives. I have very mixed feelings about this book, in that I found myself often depressed about the storyline and the way it made me feel while I was reading. At the same time, I was compelled to finish the story, and generally found that I was very happy with the endings. But when reflecting back on the stories and analyzing the complexity of situations that these women have endured, I returned to feeling concerned and unsettled. I do not know what the author wanted me to take away from her stories, but if she wanted me to feel as though I were in the situation and in that woman's shoes, she accomplished it. It is definitely a good read and one that will make you either commiserate or enlighten your awareness about what it would be like to be a woman in a conservative Middle Eastern country.

  • Mythili
    2018-12-12 04:14

    Born in Tehran in 1939, Goli Taraghi was a teenager during Iran’s 1953 coup and a grown woman during the 1979 revolution. Both upheavals feature prominently in her writing, but the stories collected in The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons are hardly polemical. Political tumult instead merely provides the backdrop of the transformations of her characters, young and old. The adolescent girls of “Flowers of Shiraz” can hardly comprehend the change underway in their country: In the run-up to Mossadeq’s ouster, they ride their bikes through the city, meeting for ice cream, flirting with boys, and racing through the hills, despite the protests on the streets. Mitra, Gol-Maryam and Parivash wear their political allegiances as lightly as their crushes. That’s not to say Taraghi isn’t interested in history’s course; she plays a long game in many of her stories, following the fates of characters across decades and continents. In “The Gentleman Thief,” a math teacher-turned-smalltime-burglar sneaks into the narrator’s house. “Excuse me,” he says. “With your permission I will take this bowl and clock and I will leave.” (Before escaping out the window, he asks for a glass of water, too.) Only many years later does his full story emerge, when the narrator returns from Paris to visit her ailing uncle. Much to her surprise, the former thief is now her uncle’s caretaker and loyal companion. A similarly complicated fate unfolds in “Amina’s Great Journey,” the tale of a big-eyed Bangladeshi maid named Amina who spends her days daydreaming of movie stars. The story charts Amina’s slow transformation from a gullible young girl who is complicit in her greedy husband’s abuse to a confident woman intent on educating her children. Taraghi carves out space for mysterious forces—powerful coincidences, supernatural spirits and uncontrollable compulsions—in her stories. But at the heart of these tales are just ordinary people, caught in strange times.

  • Melissa Reddish
    2018-11-24 04:11

    These are lovely stories written with a deft hand. The first clear joy I experienced was a glimpse into a wholly foreign world. Through these stories, we're able to see Tehran and the impact of the Revolution through the minutiae of everyday life. Taraghi explores these intimate family moments but is also unafraid to cover large swaths of time in her stories. In this way, they were reminiscent of Alice Munro. (But what contemporary author isn't influenced by her in some way?) Taraghi too has an ear for dialogue, creating characters whose fears and strengths emerge best through voice. On occasion, the description surrounding these characters-- the inner monologues and the exposition-- felt a big weighted down with unnecessary detail, but overall, these stories were quite enjoyable. I recommend spending an evening with Taraghi and the world she has illuminated.

  • Jana
    2018-12-09 07:48

    "The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons," a collection of short stories by Goli Taraghi, is a fascinating window into what life was like during a few troubled decades in Iran's history. Ms. Taraghi transports the reader to an individual time and place for each story, whether that means Paris in the 1970s or Iran in the 1950s. Some of the works early in the collection drift into magical realism--Amir-Ali's own body revolts against him in "In Another Place" and the unnamed narrator experiences a mystical journey in "The Great Lady of My Soul"--and while the imagery is arresting, the narrative for each falls by the wayside. To my mind, Ms. Taraghi has greater success when she relies on stricter realism and the unexpected cruelty or beauty of human interaction. She truly inhabits her characters, creating three-dimensional human beings with faults and flaws that a reader can identify with in a very intuitive way.Overall, I highly recommend this book.I received an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of this book as part of a giveaway on Goodreads.

  • LJ
    2018-11-28 09:57

    Capturing the inner turmoil of a woman on the run from the religious and political upheaval in Iran by paining literary images of childhood memories of Tehran and confrontations with hostile Parisian neighbors expresses the spirit of this book. It's funny, but in the story "Unfinished Game," I found a passage that accurately captured the spirit of life in modern day Beijing. "The best approach is to find an acquaintance with behind-the-scenes influence, or to contrive a convenient, heartrending tale. But the first and last rule is to get ahead of the person next to you- with a smile or a jab, it makes no difference. The point is to gain ground, with persistence and perseverance, with agile steps, deft kicks, elbow pressure, or brute force."

  • Niya
    2018-12-10 08:10

    The collection of stories, while compelling in their depictions of what life in Iran was like for private citizens as the political structures changed and the country went to way, seems more like a randomly assembled grouping than a coherent collection. In addition, perhaps because of the translation and not the authorship, the reader still feels one or more levels removed from the happenings. Reading this text is like watching the characters lives progress through smoked glass - you can almost understand why, but there is a key piece of information missing. The stories don't end so much as fall away.

  • L'Artiste
    2018-12-08 03:57

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, and I'm so glad I did! It is a deeply poignant book which beautifully illustrates the plight of the Persian people. Each story, though short, successfully connected me to her characters. I was riveted!

  • Simona Pierrovskaia
    2018-12-12 05:03

    Questo libro mi è piaciuto molto. E' pieno di racconti ironici, leggeri, sul che cosa significa vivere a cavallo tra due culture, come quella iraniana e quella occidentale, tra la cultura del passato e quella del futuro. Forse il più indicativo in questo senso è proprio 'la signora melograno', che racconta di un'ottantenne che deve prendere l'aereo da Teheran per raggiungere i figli che sono andati a vivere in Svezia - uno forse è terrorista e l'altro omosessuale - e dalla prospettiva della sua vita trascorsa sempre nello stesso villaggio non riesce a comprenderne le scelte. O 'la gara mai finita' in cui la protagonista incontra - sempre all'aeroporto - una sua coetanea che aveva successo in tutte le competizioni scolastiche e ora paradossalmente - presa nella sua rincorsa alla vita - si è costruita una non vita in Texas senza valori, senza marito e senza figli. Il dubbio di fondo sotteso a tutti i racconti è: davvero la modernizzazione fa solo bene? Ma non solo questo. E' anche un libro godibile e ironico, in cui la scrittura è potente, precisa, i racconti ben circostanziati a indicare un grande talento narrativo.

  • Diane
    2018-11-17 07:03

    This collection of short stories by an Iranian author explores the lives of Iranians, both in the country and in exile. Most of the stories turn on the time around the Iranian Revolution, and the author explores themes of exile and loss, as the country changes dramatically during this time. Some of the stories were better than others, but I thought that overall the characters and plots were compelling. I also thought the author did a good job of writing short stories where the characters were developed enough to be compelling, but still were well within the page limit for a short story.

  • Fran
    2018-12-08 04:06

    An engaging read. Stories told with a bold enthusiasm. Opened my eyes to life in Tehran during the reign of the Shah and after the revolution, to ordinary people living their lives in a background of political upheaval and violence. The title story about a tired, cranky woman obliged to help a fellow passenger on a flight from Tehran to Paris, an old woman to be reunited with her sons in Sweden, is touching and memorable. There is a lot of heart in these intense stories.

  • Akeiisa
    2018-12-13 07:51

    An interesting collection of short stories set in Iran and following Iranian women who left during or following the revolution. Taraghi offers some insights into Iranian culture, especially during a tumultuous period. Some of the longer stories would have benefited from editing. Overall a satisfying read; 3 out of 5.

  • Angelo Ricci
    2018-12-15 10:13

    Luoghi intermedi tra Oriente e Occidente, ponti tra civiltà millenarie che si incontrano e scontrano in quella regione che va dal Caucaso patria di Katholicòs armeni dall’isolamento affascinante, attraversa mezzelune fertili di mastabe e ziqqurat borgesiane sino ad altipiani iranici dai quali sono nate migrazioni indoeuropee e tripartizioni duméziliane e demiurghi zoroastriani e che per secoli hanno condiviso fioriture di patriarchi nestoriani coniuganti Ctesifonte con il Celeste Impero, in attesa del responso di concilii costantinopolitani e niceni.Territori narrativi contemporanei, ma dalle fondamenta antiche, racconti che parlano di un paese lontano nelle gesta di imperatori achemenidi, arsacidi, ellenici e sassanidi ma, al contempo, così vicino nelle trame della storia coeva, tra neocolonialismi petroliferi britannici e statunitensi e rivoluzioni islamiche dai risvolti medioevali che, da ben più di un trentennio, occupano le prime pagine della cronaca estera tra khomeinismi messianici e falliti blitz di teste di cuoio di Delta Force partorite dal ventre di elicotteri blindati sconfitti nel deserto.Goli Taraghi ci regala una serie di racconti che si traslano in infiniti e definitivi lasciapassare per il lettore che vuole conoscere la realtà contemporanea di un universo così lontano e tuttavia così simile al nostro. Attraverso le storie di donne coraggiose, ragazze ammantate nei loro amori adolescenziali, uomini sconfitti nella e dalla realtà, ma sicuramente vincitori nello spirito, il lettore conosce anime e sofferenze, passioni e sentimenti, quotidianità minute e avvenimenti politici del Ventesimo e Ventunesimo secolo che hanno segnato e segnano la storia del mondo.Come una Nadine Gordimer persiana, Goli Taraghi descrive con geniale serenità quelle zone di confine dell'anima in cui donne e uomini si amano, si odiano, si incontrano e si lasciano in quella infinita danza che va avanti nonostante i colpi di stato, le sommosse, le rivoluzioni, gli esili, in una eterna testimonianza di vitalità che sopravvive a tutto, nonostante tutto.L'Autrice, narrando i fili dei ricordi, scegliendo spesso come avamposto narrativo non luoghi di internazionale e al contempo evanescente modernità come gli aeroporti o come le metropoli occidentali che tutto e niente contengono, segna con la forza delle sue parole il sentiero di una memoria condivisa che unisce il passato e il presente.Il lettore che saprà cogliere l’opportunità di leggere i sette racconti che compongono questa mirabile silloge avrà la fortuna impagabile di compiere un viaggio non solo tra Oriente e Occidente, ma anche dentro se stesso.http://nottedinebbiainpianura.blogspo...

  • Marne Wilson
    2018-11-26 10:00

    It often takes me a while to read a story collection, since I usually dip into the stories between other books I'm reading, but the fact that it took me four months to finish this book shows just how disinterested I was in it. Maybe I'm just not a member of the target audience, although I'd kind of thought I was. My favorite professor in college was an expert in Middle Eastern literature, and when I went through the usual phase where I wanted to read everything he'd ever written, I read a lot of his literary criticism, which prompted me to read the books he was writing about. Then in graduate school I became friends with an Iranian man (although he was always very careful to introduce himself to strangers as Persian). In short, although I'm not Iranian, I know more about that country and its literature than most Americans. But that background didn't help me nearly as much as I thought it would. It seems that the stories in this collection were written by an Iranian exile for other Iranian exiles, and I was often mystified by a lot of the references that Taraghi was making.There were other problems as well. The language in a lot of the stories was very clunky-feeling. Since I don't have access to the original versions and don't read Persian anyway, I can't tell if this is just the way that Taraghi writes, or if it's a problem with the translation we have here. I think it's the translation, but that might be just because I want to give the author the benefit of the doubt. Also, the setting and characters of many of the stories were very similar, as if Taraghi is just repeating the same stories with slight variations. I suspect these is because most of the stories are based on her real life. (Maybe she would have done better writing a straight-up memoir?)There were, however, several stories that I found myself intrigued by. One was "In Another Place," which had a touch of magic realism to it that I appreciated. The title story, which ends the volume, started out slowly, but the ending punched me in the gut and will probably end up haunting me for quite some time.To sum up, there were a few bright spots in this collection, but it didn't do anything for me as a whole. Unless you are an expert in Iranian culture and history, a lot of the finer points of the stories may well go over your head, as they did mine.(Note: I received my copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.)

  • Blue
    2018-11-28 06:10

    A great collection for shorts that are on the longish side. I find it puzzling that some people thought the stories were not collected with a theme in mind. Really? The stories all deal with characters trying to cope with the Islamic Revolution in Iran, whether it be in the newly strange homeland or in exile (Paris, which was a popular destination for any liberal Iranian who could afford it). The stories depict life after the sharp turn the whole country took, leaving most baffled and confused and scared, and allowing some to enjoy unprecedented power and freedom. Freedom here is used in its most adult meaning, that nobody is truly free, that to be free means to have power, but even those with power are bound by the rules of the game that provide them the power they have, and on and on (one can argue that the liberals, with their Francophilia and their strict connections to the Persian past, were as free or not as the uber-conservative Muslims who came to rule the new country... freedom is just an illusion...) Taraghi's characters are alive and most of them are on the liberal spectrum, living in a daze and fear after the Revolution. They mourn the thousands of years of superior Persian culture that is so adamantly protected by the new government (taking out or even owning, in some cases, antiques are illegal, etc.) yet utterly undervalued as the remnants of a decadent past that does not fit with the new conservative way of life (though it does, doesn't it?) They mourn having to leave their country for a freer life elsewhere, and inevitably they are poorer and misunderstood in this elsewhere; they go from being highly cultured, well educated, relatively wealthy people to living as immigrants in European countries or the USA. There is plenty of pain and suffering in these pages, but there is also a lot of humor. The stories concerning flights (invariably between Tehran and Paris) are hilarious, as all who live in another country and have to travel back and forth with "their own kind" have experienced the frustration, difficulties, and the hilarity of these kinds of flights.I am always hesitant to read works in translation, but Sara Khalili does an excellent job in translating the language as well as the feeling in the stories, which makes for a delightful read. Highly recommended for short story fans, antique smugglers, and international jet setters.

  • Naomi
    2018-12-15 09:11

    Full disclosure: I received this for free through a Goodreads' First Read's giveaway.I loved this! I love the author's unique perspective on the issues specific to Iran. I love the accounts she is able to give of being a child and an adult in Iran during and following the Iranian Revolution. While I usually prefer full novels to short stories, I prefer this collection as it is, since it gives many separate snippets from different perspectives, but doesn't feel disjointed. And the short stories work all together as a single piece of work, or could be read independently and still be understood and valued.I am curious about which stories are direct experiences of the author, and which are fictionalized. The stories all strike me as being likely to be true, but I can't be sure. Just the fact that they seem like they could be true, makes them even more moving.Although I do love the stories, that doesn't mean I want to read all of them again, because some are sad and almost takes one aback when the ending is reached. There aren't silly stories or meaningless stories in this collection. I won't go into details, because I would rather other readers be given the opportunity to read them and react naturally themselves.One thing I do wish is that I could read this before it was translated. It is translated beautifully, but it makes me wonder how much was lost when it was changed to English. I always feel like no matter how beautiful a translated work is, that I'm missing a vital piece of it. That I am perhaps missing the soul of it.I highly recommend this to others.

  • Kristin
    2018-11-19 07:16

    The first half of the book was excellent, especially the stories "In Another Place" and "The Great Lady of My Soul." The latter had passages so beautiful and lyrical, I reread them over and over again. The first story, "Gentleman Thief," had me laughing, crying, on edge, poisoned, and finally comforted. "The Flowers of Shiraz" captures the invincibility of youth, and the heartbreak of when this facade is smashed to pieces. "Amina's Great Journey" was the last story I really liked, and even it began to feel long. Still, I liked following along with her transformation. The remaining stories began to feel like echos of earlier stories. They all had a good message, yet I found myself struggling to get through. Perhaps the stories progressed as the Iranian Revolution did, with the outcomes becoming more abd more unsettling. If this was Taraghi's intention, she certainly achieved it! Still, I found myself feeling unsatisfied.I would give the best of the stories 5 out of 5 stars, and the worst 2 stars, with the remainder receiving 3 to 4. If you have access to this book through a local library or a friend, I highly recommended the first half's stories. They are well with your time! I personally am glad I did not purchase the book, however.

  • Erin
    2018-12-07 05:09

    This was a collection of short stories that took place in/around the Iranian revolution. I found the stories in the second half of the book more enjoyable than the first half. It started very slowly for me, but I had read such good things about the book that I kept going, hoping the next story would better catch my attention. And eventually, they did! I liked the story about the Flowers of Shiraz, about the flight to Tehran and the ping pong match, Delbar and the Little Monkey, and of course, about the Pomegranate Lady. I found the topics very interesting, describing life around that period from so many different perspectives. You really got a clear picture of the chaotic environment, the strict rules and regulations, the fear and uncertainty, the reluctance to join the movement and cling to the past, and the excitement about the future. The author painted the stories beautifully, and I actually learned a lot about the revolution through these various perspectives. Despite the slow start, I enjoyed the book

  • Kara
    2018-12-08 11:12

    A starred recommendation from Kirkus Reviews and my longstanding interest in Middle Eastern, including Iranian, cultures and history served as powerful draws for me to read The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories by Goli Taraghi as soon as I could. Very fortunately, I won a Goodreads giveaway featuring this book as a prize. The collection satisfied my curiosity by providing me with more experience reading Iranian literature (if only in translation, thanks in this case to the efforts of Sara Khalili) and expanded my understanding of modern Iranian culture as it manifests in people's everyday lives. Outside of the contextual information they provided, I don't expect these stories to prove particularly memorable even though my reading experience was very satisfying. They just didn't capture my imagination, as it were, which has more to do with my personality than any flaw or strength in the text itself.

  • S
    2018-12-17 08:07

    As an Iranian-American, I seek out books about Iran and so many of them are about our lives as exiles from the country we were raised in, for so many diverse reasons, were forced to leave. I hadn't heard or read anything about this book but merely saw it on the shelf at the library and since the authors name was obviously Iranian, I thought I'd check it out and I'm so glad I did. What an amazing story teller Ms. Taraghi is. I so seldom read short stories, only because I love the all engrossing novel but these short stories were lovely and each opened up a world of its own. Stories of rich childhoods, growing up in Tehran, were juxtaposed against stories of living in exile as a foreigner in a country where you will never truly belong. Ms. Taraghi is truly a masterful story teller and every time I'd start a new story, I knew I was going to enter a new world altogether!

  • Dree
    2018-11-20 07:49

    I collection of short stories, most of which take place in Tehran, with some including Paris.The author herself fled Iran for Paris after the Ayatollah took power, and many of the characters face similar experiences. The fear of the revolution, and the confusion on coming back to visit. Many also look at pre-revolution life in Iran.Amina's great journey was my favorite, about a young Indonesian second wife who comes to Tehran to work as a servant in a large home--at her husband's order. She goes back and forth, with little communication, before showing up at her employer's small apartment in Paris. Traces the changes in circumstance for a wealthy Iranian and for a very poor immigrant woman.

  • Bindia
    2018-11-17 05:54

    Goli Taraghi is a marvelous story teller. She creates a tapestry with different stories and beautiful threads. Each character gets the center stage in different stories. Taraghi’s book offers readers a chance to read an author who has maintained her popularity in Iran for nearly four decades — an era spanning revolution, war and diaspora. Her accessible prose straddles the boundary between memoir and fiction, documenting life in Iran and in exile.Taraghi’s work, with its focus on contemporary life as lived by a range of quixotic characters, offers not only a portrait of her homeland but a chance for readers to explore their own alternate selves. I love good writing and good story-telling. This book has both.

  • Susan
    2018-12-08 07:51

    I always gravitate toward books that expose me to new places and cultures...and that was my hope for Pomegranate Lady...while it did fulfill this purpose in giving me some insights in to Iran, the short stories were not setting-centric but more character-driven. My favorite was the very first of the collection, "Gentleman Thief". I enjoyed the book but found, as is often the case for me with short story collections, that I lost momentum and put down the book for long periods of time between stories. I might utilize one or two of the stories in an upcoming World Lit class I'm teaching, but I wouldn't necessarily feel compelled to seek out more of this author's writings.

  • World Literature Today
    2018-11-21 09:57

    "The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons, includes ten short stories that tak[e] place in Tehran, Paris, and other cities in between and beyond [and] cover various moments and eras in the span of Goli Taraghi, a renowned Iranian female author. Taraghi writes of the world around her, allowing her to indulge herself and her readers in the well-represented familiar world."-Raha Namy, University of DenverThis book was reviewed in the September 2015 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our website:

  • Mitzi
    2018-11-22 04:03

    I thoroughly enjoyed these short stories about contemporary Iranians dealing with war and immigration (mostly to France). Her first stories are the weakest, I felt, but the later ones made up for it. Not only did I gain a perspective from a new and interesting point of view, there were timeless themes such as what makes us happy, how do we tolerate and treat our fellowmen in an age where we keep to ourselves and are too busy to think of anyone else's point of view, and what risks are we willing to take and why. Very interesting read.

  • Zahra
    2018-11-18 04:03

    So - this book is beautifully written/translated but after reflecting on the book (esp the last story which the book is the named after) I realized this book is rather depressing. While it beautifully captures suffering during the revolutionary period in Iran, obviously an intense period of upheaval, Taraghi's stories focus on the negative aspects of the human condition - fragility, fear, loss, obsession, disengagement and mourning. Worth the read but consider balancing with a more upbeat companion read.

  • Jyotsna
    2018-12-10 07:10

    The pomegranate lady and her sons is an interesting collection of short stories that highlights life during the revolution in Iran and life of the refugees in France. The stories are told from different unique perspectives, and often highlight the complex emotional struggles that ordinary people face that has been exacerbated by the political situation. The stories are haunting and complex; highlighting the people who are unwilling and innocent casualties of the situation. The are uplifting, talking about little victories and triumphs in times of helplessness.

  • Andrea
    2018-11-27 04:52

    Five stars for the writing, one star for keeping me up late feeling anxious and sad for the characters. This is a collection of short stories, or I should say short heartbreaks. There is always something lost in translation so I imagine Goli Taraghi's original writing is even more powerful. Which begs the question, why did you tell me these things, Goli? I was up late worrying about the Pomegranate Lady.

  • Jen
    2018-12-09 11:05

    I want to give this one 4.5 stars! This is absolutely one of the best books I've read this year. The short stories are powerful and beautiful. The characters are complex and full of truth. incredible portraits of a people, time and place that Americans hear much about, but likely have no direct connection with. These stories glowed and pulsed with reality and humanity.