The Space Between Us

by Zoya Pirzad, translated by Amy Motlagh

Available from Oneworld

In a small town on the edge of the Caspian Sea, Edmond Lazarian and his best friend Tahereh pass their days playing together, drifting between the delights of beachcombing and the joys of the sherbet shop. Although Edmond is Armenian and Tahereh is the Muslim daughter of the school’s janitor, they remain blissfully unaware of the disquiet that ripples the surface calm of their close-knit community. Yet years later, when Edmond’s daughter chooses a Muslim to marry, tensions inevitably build. Unable to keep sidestepping the prejudices around him, Edmond is finally forced to make a choice, and one that will haunt him for years to come.

From the critically acclaimed author of Things We Left Unsaid, The Space Between Us is a poignant, wistful story about belonging and otherness, pride and prejudice, and the pressures and family expectations that inform our decisions. Brilliantly painting the landscape of intricate social conventions and private emotional conflict, Pirzad has produced an intimate portrait of ordinary Iranians living everyday lives.

Zoya Pirzad is a renowned Iranian-Armenian writer and novelist. She is the author of the international bestseller Things We Left Unsaid, and her most recent collection of stories, The Bitter Taste of Persimmon, won the prize for Best Foreign Book of 2009 in France. She grew up in Abadan, Iran, and now lives in Yerevan, Armenia.