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The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
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's review
Sep 04, 2008

really liked it
Read in August, 2008

Beautiful. The descriptions of food, clothing, rug-weaving, social customs....all a sumptuous feast. Brings early 17th century Persia to life through the voice of a young girl and her difficult and redemptive journey.

Paired nicely with the August 2008 National Geographic cover story!


Note: I wondered throughout why the author chose to use 'Iran' instead of Persia...in addition to geographic variances throughout history, I thought that (in general) 'Iran' is usually used in the modern political context and 'Persia' in a more historic and cultural context. I looked it up on Wikipedia--I know, I know, but I don't have time today to do extensive primary literature research!--and found these points:


"* Persia belongs to antiquity, and ought not to be used now.
* Persia shows the old culture and civilization of the country and should be used.
* Persia includes only one province within Iran, and should not be used for the whole country.
* The origin of the name Persia comes from 'Pars' but the meaning became general for whole country.
* Iran means land of Aryans and some people in Iran are not Aryan.
* In Western languages all famous cultural aspects of Iran have been recorded as "Persian" (e.g. Persian Carpet, Persian Food, Persian Cat, Persian Pottery, Persian Melon, etc.)

Also some people from Afghanistan or Baluchistan call themselves Persians, referring to the ancient empire which covered those lands.

There are many Persians (Iranians) and non-Persians in the West who prefer "Persia" and "Persian" as the English names for the country and nationality, similar to the usage of La Perse/persan in French.

However, the name has held problems for some Iranian ethnic groups inside Iran who do not identify themselves as Persian, or whose native language is not Persian."
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I just saw this book at the library yesterday as I was walking out the door! I think I'll go back and check it out. Also, I'll look for my August 2008 National Geographic that my husband always hoards downstairs in the "man cave". Come to think of it, I haven't even seen this months issue yet. Darn him :)

Pitchaya I'm currently reading this book. It's pretty good so far. Hopefully, other parts of this book will be as good as the beginning. One thing I gotta admit is that I know nothing about Iran or Persia, which makes the book quite difficult to follow. Not to mention those custom words in the book.

Anyway, thanks to your wonderful research. The NG link is very helpful. I plan to read your sources before I go on reading the rest of the story. I should be able to understand the cultural and historical context of Iran better.


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