Festival Book Review: The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar

One of the real pleasures of Words in Winter is getting to hear those fascinating insights about a favourite book, directly from the author. In this series of posts, we will be introducing some of this year’s guest speakers, and reviewing one of their works. Hopefully this will help to inform your pre-festival reading list, and maybe even help you find a new favourite.

This week, Niel Vaughan has written a review of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar.



Shokoofeh Azar is a living witness to a history in equal parts ancient, magical & terrifying. Azar, & her translator, bring us into the heart of the pantheon of Iranian folklore. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree reads like a dream filled with the kind of magical realism that spins a rich yarn of family, folklore and religious revolution’s brutal past into a modern entry that is the panoply of Persian literature.

In the pages of Azar’s latest book we find the truth of immigration: escaping persecution, hate and fascism for hopes of a peaceful existence.

A must read for fans of Marquez and Allende.

Shokoofeh Azar with be in conversation with Dee White at Words in Winter on Sunday 19 August at 2.15pm. We’d love to see you there.

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    Words in Winter is an annual literary and arts festival held in August each year in the Hepburn Shire and surrounding districts.