The Heart's Desire

"What is remarkable about THE HEART'S DESIRE is its even-handedness and painful honesty. Rachlin's characters face each other across a gulf of irreconcilable differences, but she shows them to us with their complexity and dignity intact, their deepest needs as recognizable to our own. In the end, though, Iran is the major character in this novel. By the time we've finished confronting it from very diverse perspectives, each beautifully evoked, we have experienced the potent spell it casts over its people, and the weight of that spell fora Western woman." -- Rosellen Brown

"Nahid Rachlin has written an intimate family study that is, simultaneously, an exploration of cultures, nations, worlds. Her willingness to be vulnerable to such powerful feeling, and her ability to pass it along to us, make THE HEART'S DESIRE a profoundly moving experience." -- Frederick Busch

REVIEW: NPR: The World, selected as ONE OF THE BEST FOUR BOOKS OF the year, by Christopher Merrill, Director of Iowa International Writing program: "If you want to know what it was like to grow up in Iran this is the book to read. Rachlin, the author of five previous works of fiction, including the much acclaimed Foreigner, begins her story at the age of nine, when she was taken away from the only mother she had ever known—her aunt, as it happens—and returned to a family in which the prospects of her becoming a writer were, at best, dim. But her portrait of the artist in an Islamic country on the verge of dramatic change is filled with light."
"If, as Aristotle reminds us, we are our desire, then who are we if the object of our desire is forbidden? What becomes of us if we are born in one world yet long for another? These are just two of the complex and difficult questions Nahid Rachlin explores and ultimately illuminates in this brave, engrossing, and timely novel. I recommend it highly!"--Andre (Dubus III),author of House of Sand and Fog, and In the Bedroom
"... a rare intimate look at Iranians who are poorer and less educated... I have read (this book) four times by now, and each time I have discovered new layers in it. The voice is cool and pure. Bleak is the right word, if you will understand that bleakness can have a startling beauty."
--Anne Tyler, New York Times Book Review

Interviewed by Jessica Blau, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties

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