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Things We Left Unsaid Paperback – June 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; 1 edition (June 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851689257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851689255
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rising star of Iranian literature, Zoya Pirzad transcends the everyday with her luminous writing." Elle magazine

About the Author

Zoya Pirzad is a renowned Iranian-Armenian writer and novelist. She has written two novels and three collections of short stories, all of which have enjoyed international success. Things We Left Unsaid has been awarded multiple prizes, including the prestigious Houshang Golshiri award for Best Novel of the Year and her most recent collection of stories, The Bitter Taste of Persimmon, won the prize for Best Foreign Book of 2009 in France. She grew up in Abadan, where this novel is set, and now lives in Tehran.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Franklin Lewis on August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Zoya Pirzad came to prominence with the publication of Things We Left Unsaid ( چراغ ها را من خاموش می کنم literally: I'll Get the Lights), which won the prestigious Golshiri literary prize in 2002. She writes in Persian, the majority language of Iran, though she also knows Armenian, as well as English - and she has translated literary works from English into Persian (including Alice in Wonderland). As such, her writing is aware of international fiction and this story crosses over very well into other languages (which is not always the case for modern Persian fiction, often steeped in a particularly Iranian cultural context). The characters in this book are readily understandable and easy to identify with, and it has been translated to French, German and Turkish, as well as English.
Thing We Said Today lightly touches on political and economic problems and issues of Iran of the 1960s, where they relate naturally to the lives of the characters, whose mental life is the book's primary focus. Women and how they relate to their mothers, sisters, husbands, children and neighbors is a major concern - with all that attends: love, marriage, the family, bourgeois expectations, independent sense of self, careers for women, etc. We hear the stream of consciousness of a middle class Armenian-Iranian housewife who is gently waking to consciousness of her situation as a woman (this is taking place at roughly the same moment Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique was first published in the United States, though that book does not figure directly in Pirzad's novel).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cheryl1213 on June 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is recently released translation of a novel by an Iranian-Armenian author. It is set in Iran in 1962 and focuses on a town built around an oil company and an Armenian community with it's own social groups, religious institutions (notably, everyone has Friday off because it it the day of worship in the country but it is not the day of worship in the characters' religion), and schools. The main character is Clarisse, a wife and mother to a teenage son and younger twin girls. Her mother and sister (who is perpetually looking for a husband herself) are frequent, usually unannounced, visitors to her home. The book opens when the children bring home a new friend who has moved into a neighboring home with her father and grandmother. As Clarisse gets to know her neighbors and navigates her changing community (we see hints of a women's movement), she begins to question her life and her marriage, wondering for what seems to be the first time if she is happy and fulfilled.

I greatly enjoyed this book (advanced reader's copy won on Goodreads site). In many ways, the basic story of a woman questioning her life, a life she's just lived for many years as a wife and mother without really examining her own satisfaction, could be set anywhere. However, the culture definitely runs throughout and I enjoyed the glimpses into a different society. The Armenians in Iran are very much a subculture and they generally only interact within their own community. The community in the book is also very much built around the oil company, it is a more institutionalized version of the company towns we see in the U.S. with housing and transport built for workers and with different neighborhoods for workers and management (again, something seen in many U.S. towns).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read "Things Left Unsaid" novels ---- and I liked this author's books..She has an amazing story-telling ability to thrust the reader into her world--a re-enactment of life in Abadan through the eyes of ordinary people. She reconstructs a story around the ordinary people and ordinary stay home moms,, and yet again captures less known facts. She has a gift for fleshing out characters - whether good or bad -- with whom we can understand and empathize. At the same time she brings in the story about how the life was in Abadan, and emphasizing the grades that our parents were and how they lived and accepted the segregation that ruled their workplace and houses they lived. I come to this review after others have dealt with the story itself, and I join my praise with theirs. It will be interesting to see what segment of Abadan life she will focuses on for her next novel. Whatever it is, I have come to expect page-turning excellence from Zoya Pirad.
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By Greg M. on May 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the scenes of family life crossed with the interior life of the narrator are very compelling, tender, and dramatic. there is a sense of the Jane Austin here -- as the title itself implies -- though Tolstoy's aphorism at the beginning of Anna Karenina is apropos.
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By makers on February 1, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not too impressed, well wrtten but I was waiting for a plot throughout the story. Things were left unsaid for sure.
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