I’ll Be Strong for You
Marashi is sensitive to all the subtle and not-so-subtle fluctuations in her character’s lives: Her descriptions of Roja’s desire to leave Iran…are especially poignant. The friendship among Roja, Shabaneh, and Leyla is likewise portrayed with sharp clarity… An intriguing [novel] by an emerging talent. —Kirkus Reviews
Poupeh Missaghi’s translation from the Persian brings alive the beauty and the ache of I’ll Be Strong For You. […] Comparisons with Reading Lolita in Tehran are bound to arise. Suffice to say, this books takes one back to Azar Nafisi’s world skillfully and vividly. — Desi News
This book accomplishes the amazing feat of allowing each of us to recognize a bit of ourselves in its characters, despite being firmly set in Iran. It is filled with realistic and touching portraits that show just how much we have in common with each other, despite our differences, beyond identities and borders. —Négar Djavadi, award-winning author of Disoriental
Nothing short of extraordinary. A born enchanter in her native land—Iran—makes landfall on our shores. I couldn’t stop reading once I began, and remained, forever, as if on the threshold of her dreams. —Lila Azam Zanganeh, author of The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness
I’ve heard lots of buzz about Nasim Marashi’s debut novel and after reading I’ll Be Strong for You, I am happy to know all the hype was deserved! Marashi delivers this story of three young women in Iran over two seasons with astonishing accuracy, empathy, and artistry.—Porochista Khakpour, author of Sick and of Brown Album
Moving… Marashi succeeds at depicting her characters’ limited freedom in an otherwise modern society. Readers of women’s fiction will appreciate this. —Publishers Weekly
This award-winning debut novel by Iranian journalist Nasim Marashi follows the lives of three young women in Tehran over the course of two seasons as they pursue their wildly different dreams even as they discover that it may mean breaking with the past and endangering their longstanding friendship.
Three recent college graduates in Tehran struggle to find their footing in this award-winning debut by Iranian journalist Nasim Marashi. Roja, the most daring of the three, works in an architecture firm and is determined to leave Tehran for graduate school in Toulouse. Shabaneh, who is devoted to her disabled brother and works with Roja, is uncertain about marrying a colleague as it would mean leaving her family behind. Leyla, who was unable to follow her husband abroad because of her commitment to her career as a journalist, is wracked with regret.
Over the course of two seasons, summer and fall, in bustling streets and cramped family apartments, the three women weather setbacks and compromises, finding hope in the most unlikely places. Even as their ambitions cause them to question the very fabric of their personalities and threaten to tear their friendship apart, time and again Roja, Shabaneh and Leyla return to the comfort of their longtime affection, deep knowledge and unquestioning support of each other. Vividly capturing three very distinct voices, Marashi’s deeply wrought narrative lovingly brings these young women and their friendship to life in all their complexity.
English translation by Poupeh Missaghi.