Thursday, July 05, 2007

I just finished reading Aria, the debut novel by Nassim Assefi. What a wonderful book! It is a story told all in letters (epistolary form) about an Iranian-American oncologist in Seattle named Jasmine, whose 5 year old daughter Aria (hence the title) is struck and killed by a car. In her grief, Jasmine takes off on a round-the-world journey, first to Guatemala, then to Tibet, and finally back to her home country of Iran, where she reconnects with the culture of her ancestors. One of my favorite characters is Jasmine's best friend Dot, who is an achondroplasic dwarf and an archaeologist. I also admired the character of Jasmine grandmother, who Jasmine discovers is more like her than she thought. An inspiring debut!

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