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Goli Taraghi at Village Voice bookshop re-scheduled Thursday 25th February

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Text: Brendan Seibel
Photo: Setareh Soleimani

Struggling writers seeking inspiration and a breakthroughs have long emigrated to Paris. Iranian author Goli Taraghi was already established when she came, leaving her homeland during the Revolution. She is caught between two worlds, educated in, but unknown, in the West, carefully navigating the Islamic bureaucracy while unwilling to compromise for American markets. Now, in the wake of renewed political violence amidst celebrations of the Shah's overthrow, Taraghi will discuss her collection A Mansion in the Sky.

Active in the Persian literary scene since the 60's, managing to achieve popularity and critical acceptance as a woman, her work has been mostly ignored abroad. That the topic of Thursday's appearance is a book published nearly a decade ago illustrates one challenge of an artist in exile. With few collections and novels translated, her coming lecture will provide an insight otherwise unobtainable but unquestionably vital in these turbulent times.


Staunchly apolitical in her writing, for reasons both literary and practical, Taraghi reveals Iran through the inner struggles of her characters. Originally inclined to speak through men, her years of Parisian residence and the passage of time have allowed more introspective and personal storytelling. The people living in A Mansion in the Sky are, like her, displaced, torn between cultures and identities. She explores the ideas of femininity, quietly defying the masculine culture which controls Iran.

Working through a system of censorship has forced Taraghi to develop subtlety and nuance. Her quiet stories are made real by the complexity employed when rhetoric is abandoned. Experiences as an exile, the ability to observe her homeland from the outside, insights into womanhood repressed and the struggle of an artist fighting to stay true to herself have all contributed to the strength of her writing. They will also provide a fascinating discussion.

Goli Taraghi
February 25, 2010 at 7pm, free
Village Voice Bookshop
6 rue Princesse
75006 Paris
Mº Mabillon/St-Germain-des-Pres

Bonapart Paris apartments

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