Shokoofeh Azar: After the Iranian Revolution
When Shokoofeh Azar received the news that she was the first ever Iranian writer to be shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, she was transported back to when she was 15 years old, ‘in the village, surrounded by rainforest and rice fields, and dreamed of someday I would win this award as an Iranian writer.’
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is an incandescent novel that intertwines Persian history and folklore with magical realism, to tell the story of one family in the decade following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It is a celebration of life and imagination in the face of chaos and brutality, as well as a lyrical response to curbs on freedom of expression. Azar herself settled in Australia as an asylum seeker in 2011, but her translator — shortlisted alongside her for the prize — wishes to remain anonymous, for fears for their safety. She talks to Marjorie Lotfi Gill.