The Stoning of Soraya M.: A Story of Injustice in Iran by Freidoune Sahebjam

By Freidoune Sahebjam

Soraya M.’s husband, Ghorban-Ali, couldn’t manage to pay for to marry one other girl. instead of returning Soraya’s dowry, as customized required ahead of taking a moment spouse, he plotted with 4 neighbors and a counterfeit mullah to get rid of her. jointly, they accused Soraya of adultery. Her simply crime was once cooking for a friend’s widowed husband. Exhausted through a life of abuse and hassle, Soraya acknowledged not anything, and the makeshift tribunal took her silence as a confession of guilt. They sentenced her to dying via stoning: a punishment prohibited through Islam yet generally practiced.

Day via day—sometimes minute by way of minute—Sahebjam deftly recounts those horrendous occasions, tracing Soraya’s lifestyles with searing immediacy, from her prepared marriage and the births of her young children to her husband’s expanding cruelty and her frightening execution, the place, via culture, her father, husband, and sons hurled the 1st stones. A stark examine the intersection among tradition and justice, this is often one woman’s tale, however it stands for the tales of millions of ladies who suffered—and proceed to suffer—the similar destiny. it's a tale that needs to be told.

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She’d given up, in fact, which I learned in the usual way of agencies: I found myself as-­ signed a new agent, who cared for me about as much as I do for anchovies. It was problematic­—­no, embarrassing­—­when people asked what I did for a living. How could I tell them I was a writer? I wasn’t a writer; I was a reader. To call myself a writer, I had to write something that sold. What the hell could I write that would sell? Not screenplays; not yet, anyway. Not novels, either, obviously; each one of mine was more dreadful than the last.

Since my editor’s version 46 THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE of The Seven­-­Per­-­Cent Solution didn’t read like Arthur Conan Doyle and my original did, it was easy for me to decide to insist on something much closer to my own draft. Besides, always let your failures be your own. The world is full of advice; you must pick and choose what is useful or relevant versus what is merely safe and/or familiar. There’s no getting around instinct; pray you have some. Ed Barber left Harcourt Brace for another company (there seemed to be an awful lot of this lateral movement in the publishing business), which didn’t publish fiction.

If I had known all the difficulties that would have en-­ sued regarding the rights to Holmes, I probably would never have attempted the book in the first place. The negotiations took so long, in fact, that I sat down one day at my typewriter and wrote another book instead, one that wouldn’t have legal prob-­ lems attached to it. Called Target Practice, this novel, too, had a long gestation period, followed by a terribly short actual writing time: three weeks. The story was an attempt to discuss the Vietnam War (a subject that had been percolating in my brain since college) in the guise of a Lew Archer–type detective story.

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