Shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize 

The Enlightenment of the Greenage Tree – Shokoofeh Azar

Fiction · Wild Dingo Press

The Enlightenment of the Greenage Tree

About the book


“The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is a stunning meditation on grief and loss in the life of a family and a society by an extraordinary Australian writer.”

– 2018 Stella Prize Judges

Shokoofeh Azar

About the author


Shokoofeh Azar

Further Reading


Judges’ report



Shokoofeh Azar’s The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is a unique and profoundly moving novel, translated from Farsi by Adrien Kijek. Set in Iran, the story is narrated by thirteen-year-old Bahar as she follows the fortunes of her family in the violent aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The novel presents a richly woven magical reality: Bahar’s mother attains enlightenment atop a greengage tree at the moment her son is executed; the ghosts of five thousand prisoners march down the streets of Tehran, preceded by a river of their own tears; and a fictional Ayatollah Khomeini finds himself lost underground in his own labyrinthine palace of mirrors.

Drawing on techniques of classic Persian literature, and recalling aspects of South American magic realism, Azar powerfully juxtaposes the beauty of Persian culture and mythology with the brutality of a political regime responsible for the destruction of so many lives. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is a stunning meditation on grief and loss in the life of a family and a society by an extraordinary Australian writer.

 
 
 
 

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