Hot Summer Read: Zahra's Paradise
August 16, 2012 | Alice | Comments (0)
by Amir & Khalil
This contemporary story, set in Ahmadinejad's Iran in 2009, tells the story of one missing nineteen year old boy and the search for him undertaken with great persistence and at the risk of great harm by his mother and brother. There is no rule of law and official actions are random and corrupt, creating a whole atmosphere of despair and hopelessness. We meet characters from all walks of Iranian life in a world where nothing is as it seems. The graphic format only adds to the horror of the story. There are references to the Iranian Candaian journalist, Zahra Kazemi, who was murdered by the regime and whose story was told in the Canadian news. Read it and weep.
This story is one that digs deep into your heart. The worst nightmare for anyone who has loved someone, it centres around the futility of trying to find a missing loved one in a system seemingly designed to pretend they never existed. This story was built using collected fragments of blogs, videos, and other accounts, and was so incendiary that the authors did not even use their real names.
Bravely, though, one of the authors agreed to appear on the BBC in a fantastic video interview about the making of the original web serial and later, the book. The book itself was a collaboration, and has now been printed in several languages. The book's website is also presented in many languages, and features sample chapters, so that you can get a feel for the book and the artwork, always important in a graphic novel!
This is one that will stick with you, because while there are many haunting stories in this summer's featured reads, this one is based on a horrible truth.