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By Shahla Talebi

"Opening the big steel gate, the safeguard by surprise took away my blindfold and requested me, tauntingly, if i'd realize my mom and dad. With my eyes hurting from the unusual gentle and anger in my voice, I guaranteed him that i might. without warning i used to be driven in the course of the gate and the door was once slammed at the back of me. After greater than 8 years, right here i used to be, eventually, out of reformatory . . . ."

In this haunting account, Shahla Talebi recalls her years as a political prisoner in Iran. Talebi, together with her husband, used to be imprisoned for almost a decade and tortured, first less than the Shah and later via the Islamic Republic. Writing approximately her personal soreness and survival and sharing the tales of her fellow inmates, she information the painful truth of legal lifestyles and gives an intimate examine a serious interval of social and political transformation in Iran.

Somehow via it all—through resistance and resolute wish, ardour and creativity—Talebi indicates how one survives. Reflecting now on stories earlier, she remains real to her stories, honoring the affection of her husband and pals misplaced in those occasions, to narrate how humans can carry to moments of affection, resilience, and friendship over the darkish forces of torture, violence, and hatred.

At as soon as deeply own but sincerely political, half memoir and half meditation, this paintings brings to heartbreaking readability how deeply rooted torture and violence might be in our society. greater than a passing judgment of guilt on a monolithic "Islamic State," Talebi's writing asks us to re-examine our personal responses to either modern debates of interrogation strategies and executive accountability and, extra easily, to easy acts of cruelty in way of life. She bargains an enduring name to us all.

"The paintings of dwelling in felony turns into attainable via imagining existence within the very presence of loss of life and staring at demise within the very lifestyles of existence. it's residing lifestyles so vitally and so absolutely that you're keen, if beneficial, to allow that very lifestyles move, as one may shed chains at the legs. it truly is embracing, and flying at the wings of demise as if it's the fowl of freedom."

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