Jennifer Sahary, an American artist, and her husband Karim, a professor and Iranian immigrant, make an extended visit to Teheran shortly after the Iran-Iraq War, encountering unforeseen dangers and sexual temptations that change the course of their lives.
When their young son is taken by his grandmother to the holy city of Qom without Jennifer's knowledge, she sets out to find him, learning much about Iran and about herself along the way. And as Karim renews contact with his family and surveys the misery and needs of his war-torn country, he begins to question where he can best achieve his ideals.
In sensuous and elegant prose, Rachlin weaves the interlinking stories of a man and a woman and their contrasting cultures with balance and sympathy.
Nahid Rachlin is an Iranian who lives in New York City, where she teaches creative writing at Barnard College. She is author of Veils: Short Stories and Married to a Stranger (both published by City Lights) and Foreigner (W. W. Norton).