The beguiling second novel from the author of Walking Wounded for fans of Anna Funder and William Boyd.
Gripping and atmospheric, Winter in Tabriz tells the story of four young people living in 1970s Iran during the months immediately prior to the revolution, and the choices they have to make as a result of the ensuing upheaval.
The lives of Damian and Anna, both from Oxford University, become enmeshed with two Iranians, Arash, a poet, and his older brother Reza, a student sympathetic to the problems of the dissident writers in Iran, and a would-be photojournalist, interested in capturing the rebellion on the streets.
The novel draws on Sheila Llewellyn's own experience of living in Tabriz, through the winter of 1978, during the last chaotic months before the revolution took hold in January 1979.
It is an expertly imagined tale of the fight for artistic freedom, young love and the legacies of conflict.
I loved this immensely evocative novel which takes the reader on a gripping journey through Iran - as well as a deeply moving and absorbing emotional journey, which acutely shows how the political and personal are inextricably interwoven. Highly recommended. - Anita Sethi
Subtle, serious fiction - TLS
A haunting, atmospheric novel about four students who find themselves unexpected witnesses to history in the strange last days of the Shah's Iran. - Samira Ahmed
Llewellyn vividly captures the lives and passions of four young people irrevocably transformed by revolution, and of a moment in recent history that tilted us towards the political frailties of the present day. Skilfully woven through the story is a tender testament to the Iranian writers and thinkers who bore witness and sought justice. - Cathy Galvin
A wonderfully accomplished novel that powerfully depicts a forbidden love in a fragmenting world trapped between dictatorship and fundamentalism, and where poetry is seen as more dangerous than guns. - David Park, author of Travelling in a Strange Land
An honest and painstaking writer who cares deeply about the truth of her subject-matter. - Ciaran Carson
An exploration of memory and loss - Bookmunch