A stunning and evocative first novel with the power of The Kite Runner, Small Island and Shadow of the Wind.
Set in seventeenth-century Iran, The Blood of Flowers is the powerful and haunting story of a young girl's journey from innocence to adulthood.
The novel begins in the 1620s in a remote village where the narrator (whose name, in the Iranian storytelling tradition, we are never to know) lives with her mother and rug-maker father. On the sudden death of her father, our heroine and her mother fall upon hard times and are forced to travel to the bustling, beautiful, exotic city of Isfahan where relatives take them in.
Everything is new: the grudging charity of her aunt, the encouragement of her uncle, one of the finest carpet-makers in the world, who begins to teach her his craft, the treacherous friendship of the daughter of rich neighbours. And there's an adventure ahead which will introduce her to the sensual side of life as well as to the cruelty of betrayal and rejection before she finds her way to contentment and possibly, even, to happiness, in a world full of contrasts and dangers.
I've just read the most wonderful book by Anita Amirezzvani... it is fascinating, totally original and utterly gripping. It will remain one of my favourite books - Esther Freud, Independent on Sunday
Amirrezvani weaves her own experiences into the prose: giving a sense of the country. - Eastern Courier Messenger and City Messenger, Australia
This is a journey of the soul from enslavement to freedom through the creation of the narrators own story. It exudes a vibrancy of colour and sensuousness but also draws vividly the squalor of poverty. - Adelaide Advertiser
Sensuous and transporting...filled with the colours, tastes and fragrances of life in seventeenth-century Isfahan - Geraldine Brooks
Amirrezvani... infuses her heroine with lilting eloquence - Washington Post
Beautifully imagined... Simply a stunning debut - San Francisco Chronicle
Lushly written, sensual - Australian Women's Weekly
Anita Amirrezvani was born in Iran but has lived in the USA since she was a young child. She has visited Iran many times and has been steeped in tales of Iranian life and history from an early age. The Blood of Flowers was her first novel, and was followed by Equal of the Sun. USA Today described The Blood of Flowers as 'filled with intricate designs, vivid colours, and sparkling gems'; it has appeared in more than 25 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction.
Anita is an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and at Sonoma State University.