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Extended Audio Sample The Blood of Flowers: A Novel, by Anita Amirrezvani Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,755 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anita Amirrezvani Narrator: Shohreh Aghdashloo Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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At the age of fourteen, a young woman in seventeenth-century Persia believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, collapsing in the field where he works with the other men from their village, there is no hope for a dowry. Alone and penniless, she and her grieving mother are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven—meant, of course, for her married life—to pay for their journey to Isfahan. There they will work as servants for her uncle Gostaham, a rich rug designer in the court of the Shah, and be lorded over by Gostaham’s wife.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant weaver of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her artistic gift flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage with a man who will never take her as his first wife, the young woman is faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to maintain it.

Amirrezvani infuses her story with lush detail, brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of seventeenth-century Isfahan: the dazzling architecture; the exotic Persian foods; the breathtakingly beautiful rugs. A sweeping love story, a powerful coming-of-age story, and a luminous portrait of a city, this is a universal tale of one woman’s struggle to live a life of her choosing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Simply a stunning debut. One can’t help but want to return to the charming main narrator and the entrancing tale of her quest for independence and self-reliance, her daring and honest exploration of love and desire for love, and above all the profound discovery…that she ‘must being to understand her own worth’”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Amirrezvani delicately weaves this sumptuous tale of female fortitude and ingenuity in seventeenth-century Persia.”


  • “Sumptuous imagery and a modern sensibility…make this a winning debut.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melanie Shaw | 2/14/2014

    " What a strong lead character... She prevails in the end in her own way in a man's world... Love it... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mischelle | 1/31/2014

    " Great book, fabulous narration! A definite recommend for women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Teeuhh | 1/31/2014

    " Really a 3.5 stars. This book was blessed with interesting and well-developed subject matter and a series of very delicately written stories-within-the-story, but I found the plot arcs to be predictable and most of the characters to be extremely one-dimensional to the point of not caring what happened to any of them, narrator included. Yes, she's essentially a teenager and prone to brash decisions, but sometimes what she was doing just got ridiculous. That said, a lot of care went into this book, which gives it the higher mark. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marie Hertle | 1/28/2014

    " In 17th century Persia, an unnamed and impulsive 14 year old female narrator transforms into a successful and wise carpet designer. Because the narrator spent nine years composing the story with several trips to Iran, the author weaves together traditional folktales, researched events, the art of knotting and designing fine carpets, and this fictional story. As one reviewer mentioned, too much time was spent describing the detailed sexual activity between the narrator and her temporary husband. Other than that, I was pleased that the narrator risked her safety and protection for a life congruent with her values. "

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About the Author
Author Anita Amirrezvani

Anita Amirrezvani is the Iranian author of The Blood of Flowers, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and a former staff writer and dance critic for the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times. She has received fellowships from the National Arts Journalism Program, the NEA’s Arts Journalism Institute for Dance, and the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers. She is currently an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.