The Bathhouse (Hardcover)
Black Heron Press, 9780930773625, 182pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
List Price: 21.95*
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During the fundamentalist revolution in Iran, a 17-year-old girl is arrested by the Revolutionary Guards. She is not political, but her brother and sister-n-law are, so she is suspect too. She is confined in a former bathhouse with several other women ranging in age from adolescence to elderly, whose mental states vary from the stoic and care-giving to the insane. Based on interviews with several Iranian women who had been imprisoned in such a bathhouse, this novel documents the torment they endured and honors their humanity and courage. Winner of the 2001 Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction.
About the Author
Farnoosh Moshiri was born into a literary family in Teheran, Iran. Under threat of death from the new regime, she escaped from Iran in 1983. She has lived in the United States since 1987. She graduated from the University of Houston's creative writing program where she won the Barthelme Memorial Fellowship. Crazy Dervish...is her third book.
Praise For The Bathhouse…
"Like the young male protagonist of Moshiri’s big first novel, At the Wall of the Almighty [BKL F 15 00], the 17-year-old high-school graduate who tells of her time in an old bathhouse used as a prison remains nameless throughout this tersely reportorial short novel. She is arrested and her home ransacked one hot August night on account of her brother’s involvement with revolutionary leftists in Iran in the early 1980s, when Khomeini’s Shiite revolution became more resolutely authoritarian. Taken to the bathhouse, she suffers her first humiliation when her period starts and no one will get her a tampon. She is put in a cell with several others—the pregnant wife of a leftist, a professor and her aged mother, the mother of a young rebel, a surgeon, a young teenager, and a madwoman—and let out only to be interrogated and tortured, to go to the toilet, or to shower once a week. One by one, her companions are taken away for good. At last, she gets new cellmates, female leftist guerrillas, with whom she suffers further torture and is nearly executed. Released at last, she collapses on a street bench, and her period starts again. Written with the simple authority of an oral deposition, packing the punch of All Quiet on the Western Front, this is both a resolutely nonpartisan antirevolutionary brief and a gripping, harrowing story of personal courage and endurance." — Rav Olson, Booklist, Starred Review, August 1, 2001
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