Thursday, 9 March 2017

In The Twinkling Of An Eye by Seyed Mehdi Shojaee


In The Twinkling Of An Eye by Seyed Mehdi Shojaee

First published in Persian in Iran as Dar Yek Chashm Be Ham Zadan by Neyestan Publishing. English language translation by Caroline Croskery published in the UK in 2014 by Candle And Fog Publishing.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Bought from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'In the Twinkling of an Eye is a collection of short stories by renowned, contemporary Iranian author, Seyed Mehdi Shojaee, and translated from the Persian-Farsi into English by Caroline Croskery. This collection of stories juxtaposes the misdeeds of imperfect human beings with the interconnectedness of the natural world and a metaphysical world of supernatural beings. The surreal, serene, feminine image on the cover against the soft, blue-green clouds of an impending storm invite the reader to experience a thrilling contemplation of the human condition fraught with foibles and weaknesses in its evolution towards perfection.
What makes this book so special is Seyed Mehdi Shojaee’s ability to engage the reader through his range of narrative perspective, richness of literary technique, and depth of plots in his art of storytelling. The strength this collection of short stories by one of one of contemporary Iran’s most beloved authors is its ability to appeal to the heart, the mind and sense of humor and entertain while compelling us to read on as it challenges our thoughts and beliefs. Readers will be inspired to share ideas and discuss implications of the social and universal concepts introduced in this book.'

I was drawn to read In The Twinkling Of An Eye by the fact of its Iranian authorship and by the beautifully serene cover image, the work of Pejman Rahimizadeh, which leapt off Amazon to catch my eye. A collection of eighteen short stories, the book is quite a fast read, but delves deeply into universally important themes of love, relationships, personal self-belief, and family. Although Shojaee's characters are from a very different country and culture to my own, I could easily empathise with their stories and understand what this accomplished storyteller wanted to impart. People, female characters especially, tend to appear as romanticised versions of an ideal rather than believable women one might actually meet, but I thought this fitted with the overall ambience of the collection. I loved the mythical and poetic aspects to several tales such as the first, Mahjabin, which has an otherworldly vibe. Signature is a poignant depiction of life for the young son of a martyr and I am sure many striving authors and poets would identify with Somebody Notice Me! I took a chance on buying In The Twinkling Of An Eye having had no prior knowledge of Shojaee's writing and not having seen reviews blogged anywhere else and am now very happy to have done so. I would recommend this poetic collection to dip into on thoughtful, introspective days.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Seyed Mehdi Shojaee / Short stories / Books from Iran

6 comments:

  1. I love how you read from a wide variety of genre and International authors. I feel so lacking whenever I read one of your reviews. :D

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    1. Awww, I don't mean to make you feel bad :-(

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  2. wow that cover is a masterpiece! HOLE CRAP! I want to know who the cover artist is! and if you add mythical and poetic yay! glad you had this good reading experience :)

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    1. Gorgeous isn't it! The work of Pejman Rahimizad

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  3. I am glad the picking up a book on a whim worked out well for you! I absolutely adore the cover of this one, which makes it look good to me. And I haven't read many Iranian novels.... only one. So I might want to try this one now.

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    1. I loved the mysticism of some stories and the poetic style often feels timeless

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