Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New Review of Echoes from the Other Land, Nov. 2011

Reviewed in The Toronto Quarterly, Issues 8. Nov. 2011

Ava Homa was not so long ago writing and teaching at a university in Iran when she decided to move to Canada to study Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. She now lives in Toronto, where she continues to teach and write. Her debut collection of short stories Echoes From The Other Land (Tsar Publications, 2010) has been critically acclaimed and nominated for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize. She has been regaled as Canada’s answer to Raymond Carver, and rightly so. Her stories are incredibly succinct and breathtaking. Homa exquisitely portrays the lives of her female Iranian protagonists, who continually prove to be unafraid of taking hold of their own lives, unveiling an inner-strength that is not only surprising, but a lot more universal than might have been first expected. Her stories are rich, dramatic, tension-filled, and have an innate ability to captivate the reader.

Homa poignantly points out that the resistance is real, that Iranian women are indeed tired of living their lives under an oppressive regime, and that the Western media’s depiction of them as being inferior and limited are primarily falsehoods. It should also be noted that the similarities between Middle Eastern and Western culture are not that dissimilar at all, that Iranian women do have a voice, and their social activity is not only widespread and diverse, but ever- changing.

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