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Aria: Book summary and reviews of Aria by Nazanine Hozar

Aria

by Nazanine Hozar

Aria by Nazanine Hozar X
Aria by Nazanine Hozar
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Aug 18, 2020
    448 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

An extraordinary, cinematic saga of rags-to-riches-to-revolution--called a "Doctor Zhivago of Iran" by Margaret Atwood--that follows an orphan girl coming of age at a time of dramatic upheaval.

It is the 1950s in a restless Iran, a country rich in oil but deeply divided by class and religion. The government is unpopular and corrupt and under foreign sway. One night, an illiterate army driver hears the pitiful cry of a baby abandoned in an alley and menaced by ravenous wild dogs. He snatches the child up and takes her home, naming her Aria--the first step on an unlikely path from deprivation to privilege. Over the next two decades, the orphan girl acquires three mother figures whose secrets she will only learn much later: reckless and self-absorbed Zahra, who abuses her; wealthy and compassionate Fereshteh, who adopts her; and mysterious Mehri, whose connection to Aria is both a blessing and a burden. A university education opens a new world to Aria, and she is soon caught up in the excitement and danger of the popular uprising against the Shah that sweeps through the streets of Tehran. The novel's heart-pounding, explosive finale sees the Ayatollah Khomeini's brutal regime seize power--even as Aria falls in love and becomes a mother herself.

Nazanine Hozar's stunning debut gives us an unusually intimate view of a momentous time, through the eyes of a young woman coming to terms with the mysteries of her own past and future.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Making an impressive fiction debut, Hozar creates a vibrant, unsettling portrait of her native Iran from the 1950s to 1981, a period beset by poverty and oppression, chaos and revolution...An engrossing tale that reveals a nation's fraught history." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Hozar expertly weaves people in and out of Aria's life and crafts a living, breathing environment for her heroine to inhabit, and brings things to a charged climax. This will be hard for readers to shake." - Publishers Weekly

"Hugely enjoyable." - The Guardian (UK)

"Nazanine Hozar's immaculate first novel follows a group of Iranians in the lead-up to the 1979 revolution and marks the arrival of a major new voice." - The Observer (UK)

"A page-turner...Through accessible language, [Hozar] vividly captures the feel of alleyways, courtyards, markets and overlapping experiences and faiths...Hozar spent a decade researching and writing Aria, and it shows." - Now Toronto

"A sweeping saga about the Iranian revolution as it explodes...A Doctor Zhivago of Iran." - Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale

"A feminist odyssey...A poised and dramatic historical novel with contemporary relevance." - John Irving, author of The World According to Garp

"A beautiful book set against the pains and passions of the Iranian Revolution...It is a book about a particular time and place yet also, and perhaps more importantly, about the common hopes and intimate longings of lives so forcibly invaded by national events." - Hisham Matar, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Return

The information about Aria shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Nazanine Hozar

Nazanine Hozar was born in Tehran, Iran, and lives in British Columbia, Canada. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the Vancouver Observer and Prairie Fire magazine. Aria is her first novel.

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