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The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

Shokoofeh Azar
Translated by Anonymous from Farsi
Published by Europa Editions
Set in Iran in the decade following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this moving, richly imagined novel is narrated by the ghost of Bahar, a 13-year-old girl whose family is compelled to flee their home in Tehran for a new life in a small village, hoping in this way to preserve both their intellectual freedom and their lives. But they soon find themselves caught up in the post-revolutionary chaos that sweeps across the country, a madness that affects both living and dead, old and young.
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree speaks of the power of imagination when confronted with cruelty, and of our human need to make sense of the world through the ritual of storytelling. Through her unforgettable characters and glittering magical realist style, Azar weaves a timely and timeless story that juxtaposes the beauty of an ancient, vibrant culture with the brutality of an oppressive political regime.

 

Actor Amir Wilson reading from The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

Shokoofeh Azar reads from her book The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree in its original language Farsi and speaks to us about her novel.

Shokoofeh Azar's translator wishes to remain anonymous, so actor Elizabeth McGovern reads their answers to some questions around translating The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree.

About the Author

Shokoofeh Azar

Shokoofeh Azar moved to Australia as a political refugee in 2011. She is the author of essays, articles, and children’s books, and is the first Iranian woman to hitchhike the entire length of the Silk Road. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, originally written in Farsi, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize for Fiction in Australia and is her first novel to be translated into English.