The Blood of Flowers - Book of the Month
by Anita Amirrezvani
Set in seventeenth century Persia, this book is not a historical novel, nor is it in any way derivative. It is a deeply researched, scholarly first novel by an acclaimed American writer who was born in Tehran and grew up in San Francisco.
THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS is the tale of a young girl’s farewell to innocence, and her determination to decide on her own future in a very unforgiving world.
Anita Amirrezvani worked for ten years as a journalist in U.S.A. She researched the material for THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS for nine years, which included making three journeys to Iran. She acknowledges the help of dedicated scholars who have devoted their lives to understanding Iran.
In THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS Amirrezvani tells how Tamerlane, the Mogol conqueror, arrived at Isfahan more than six hundred years ago and ordered the city to surrender. There was a small rebellion, and in revenge Tamerlane ordered his soldiers to run their swords through fifty thousand citizens. Only one group was spared: the carpet makers, whose value was too great for them to be destroyed. But even after this calamity, the carpet makers never introduced death, destruction or chaos into their carpets: they created only elegant design and colour, which is the way that Persian carpet makers traditionally protest all evil. In response to cruelty, suffering and sorrow they recall to the world only the face of beauty “which can best restore man’s tranquility, cleanse his heart of evil, and lead him to the path of truth”....”Beauty is a tonic like no other”.
But Amirrezvani pulls no punches when she describes the cruel discrimination endured by Persian women through the ages. Their predicament, although bewildering to many in the western world, lends colour to Iranian poetry and legendary stories.
Anita Amirrezvani has bloomed in the freer air of Northern California into the highly competent and imaginative author of THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS. She has written an unforgettable book, full of fascinating detail about a world still mysterious to most outsiders. The scenery, architecture and the way of life, the brilliant colour and variety of the bazaars, is brought vividly to the page. The essential kindness, politeness and generosity of Amirrezvani’s characters animate the story and breathe light and zest into a tale touched by darkness, superstition and tragedy.
Read our interview with Anita Amirrezvani.