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Refuge
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Dina Nayeri’s novel, Refuge, focuses on a father-daughter relationship after part of the family flees Iran in the 1980’s.

Dr. Bahman Hamidi’s wife and children leave Iran for the United States, while he chooses to remain, tied to his life, love of home, and an opium addiction. As Bahman’s daughter, Niloofar (Niloo), transforms into an overachieving Westerner, and eventually a European transplant in Amsterdam, the story follows her relationship with her father, as they interact during sporadic visits. Nayeri explores their intimate family relationship during these visits, as well as the cultural differences and changes that occur over the decades, to the members of the family, and in Iran and the world, through the lens of Bahman, as an Iranian citizen, and Niloo, as an Iranian refugee.

I found this book insightful, thoughtful and threaded with relatable humor, as Nayeri captures the complicated roles that time and place play in the idea of “home,” while maintaining characters and storylines that are candid and realistic. Nayeri skillfully writes about the conflicts facing refugees of all nationalities in Europe, as well as the interconnected role of family relationships and the refugee identity. This is a well-written, poignant book for those who enjoy literary fiction and who want to learn more about contemporary Iranian experiences.

 
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
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