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Dalia Sofer in Conversation at Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto

  • Congregation Etz Chayim 4161 Alma Street Palo Alto, CA, 94306 (map)

Author Dalia Sofer will speak about her novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, on two consecutive evenings in the Bay Area. Sofer's Palo Alto appearance will be followed by a reception. 

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Sofer’s novel and this year's One Bay One Book selection, The Septembers of Shiraz, is set in Tehran in 1981, as Jewish gem trader Isaac Amin is imprisoned by the Revolutionary Guard. His wife, Farnaz, struggles to keep from slipping into despair, while his young daughter, Shirin, tries to take matters into her own hands. Far away in Brooklyn, Isaac’s son, Parviz, though not religious, falls for the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord. Sofer masterfully captures the small tensions and larger brutalities that sharply affect a family that does not conform.

Marking its tenth anniversary, the novel remains particularly relevant during a time when renewed attention is given to the plight of refugees and to the vulnerability of Jews and other minority groups in many lands during troubling times.

Born in Tehran in 1972, Dalia Sofer came with her family to the United States in 1983. She graduated from New York University and received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her debut novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, received the Sami Rohr Prize Choice Award and the PEN/Robert Bingham Prize, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and Orange Prize.

Co-presented by JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa