Bella Vida Syles - Virtual Book Club

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

“The Stationery Shop” is Marjan Kamali’s second novel set in Iran.

This is a beautiful story about young love, mature love, family love, and love of country. The story focuses on Roya, a teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, who falls in love with Bahman, a young man who has a passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry, which is what brings them together. Their time spent at Mr. Fakhri’s Stationery Shop ignites their young romance. Then on the eve of their marriage,  violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future as well as their own plans for the future. During the upheaval, Roya is caught in the middle of chaos as she waits for Bahman who never shows up. For weeks, she tries desperately to contact him and figure out where here future lays. Finally, she is forced to move on—to college in California, to another man, and finally to a life in New England. Then, one day, more than 60 years later, fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century.


During this discussion with the author, we talked about life in Iran, mental illness, love and loss, as well as family expectations.


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