Podcast 60: Sahar Delijani’s Children of the Jacaranda Tree
Children of the Jacaranda Tree, by Sahar Delijani, is a stunning debut novel set in post-Revolutionary Iran. Told in interconnected, alternating perspectives, the book follows three generations of men and women, some linked by family, others brought together by the tide of history that forces its way into their lives.
The story follows political prisoners, not knowing whether torture, execution, or release is around the corner, and caretakers on the outside—the grandparents and siblings holding their families together while their loved ones are imprisoned. The story moves from the nightmarish reign of terror and hellish secret prisons, through the first ripples of new dissent some thirty years later—Iran’s post-revolutionary generation, the children of the detained, repressed, and persecuted. At the novel’s center is a single tragedy which leaves both the creators of the revolution and their children permanently scarred and traumatized.
Drawing comparisons to the The Kite Runner and In the Shadow of the Banyan, it’s an evocative look at the intimate side of revolution.
Today we speak with the author, Sahar Delijani, whose life and family inspired much of the book’s narrative.