Touba and the Meaning of Night
Author: Shahrnush Parsipur
Original language: Persian
Published by: Marion Boyars, 2007
When her father dies, 14 year-old Touba proposes to a 52 year-old relative in order to ensure her family’s financial security. Intimidated by her outspoken nature, Touba’s husband soon divorces her.
She marries again, to a prince with whom she has four children – but he proves unfaithful and unreliable. Touba is divorced from him, and lives out the rest of her life as matriarch to a changing household of family members and assorted refugees.
She is haunted by the spirit of a young girl who was murdered by her own father after becoming pregnant as a result of a violent rape.
Touba’s daughter secretly marries Ismael but when he is jailed for extremist behaviour she tries to abort her unborn baby, leaving herself infertile.
Touba and the Meaning of Night tells the story of one woman’s life against an ever-changing political and social backdrop.
'Mixing history, mysticism, philosophy and personal tragedy . . . a masterpiece, Pasripur is one of the giants of Iranian literature'
Camden New Journal
Writers in Translation organized two events to celebrate the publication of the book:
Shahrnush Parsipur discussed the novel at Aga Khan University, and a reception and reading with Shahrnush Parsipur and Maureen Freely was held at Al Saqi Bookshop.