BOOKSMITH: Jasmin Darznik / Song of a Captive Bird

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Booksmith is thrilled to host the author of The Good Daughter, Jasmin Darznik, as she launches her novel Song of a Captive Bird. Join us!


“Remember the flight, for the bird is mortal.”


A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who defied society’s expectations to find her voice and her destiny.
All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel—gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé. During the summer of 1950, Forugh’s passion for poetry takes flight—and tradition seeks to clip her wings.
Forced into a suffocating marriage, Forugh runs away and falls into an affair that fuels her desire to write and to achieve freedom and independence. Forugh’s poems are considered both scandalous and brilliant; she is heralded by some as a national treasure, vilified by others as a demon influenced by the West. She perseveres, finding love with a notorious filmmaker and living by her own rules—at enormous cost. But the power of her writing only grows stronger amid the upheaval of the Iranian revolution.
Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad’s verse, letters, films, and interviews—and including original translations of her poems—this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran—and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world.



“With rich empathy and gorgeous prose, Jasmin Darznik breathes life into one of Iran’s most iconic women, and the result is a beautiful novel that is as compelling as it is necessary.”  -- Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This

“A thrilling and provocative portrait of a powerful woman set against a sweeping panorama of Iranian history.”  -- Kirkus Reviews
“Written with the urgent tenderness of a love letter, this soaring novel is a heart-breaker and heart-mender at once—a gorgeous tribute to the brave and brilliant poet remembered in its pages.”  -- Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow



Jasmin Darznik was born in Tehran and currently teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco. Her first book, The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life (Grand Central, 2011), was a New York Times bestseller, has been translated into eight languages, and published in thirteen countries. The memoir was a finalist for the Readers' Choice Award from the Library of Virginia and short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Darznik's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. She has received awards and distinctions from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Zoetrope: All-Story, Iowa Review, Norman Mailer Colony, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Bennington Writing Seminars, and the Corporation of Yaddo. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton.





RSVP is appreciated, but not required. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Song of a Captive Bird, order below and put your request in the comments field.




Song of a Captive Bird Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399182310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - February 13th, 2018

The Good Daughter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446534987
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - July 15th, 2016