FOREIGNER by Nahid Rachlin


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Having married an American, developed a career in biological research, and not been home to Iran in twelve years, it's hardly unexpected that Feri Macintosh feels queasy about her two-week visit to see her father. Instantly, the second day there, the visit seems a mistake: the pace of the life, the attitudes toward women, the bureaucratic tangles. But, unable to leave quickly, she uses her time to seek out her mother, who abandoned her and her father years and years ago to live with the father's business partner. Finding the old woman living in a small desert town, Feri suddenly feels strangely peaceful. Even an ulcer, which lands her in the primitive hospital, links her up with a pleasant doctor, a U.S.-trained Iranian to whom Feri is attracted. When husband Tony turns up, alarmed at the delay of her return, Feri confronts the upside-downness of her real feelings: that America with its glamor and sleek but distant husband is not for her; Iran, with its blood allegiance, with its simple endurance, is. Rachlin writes sensitively, if in one octave, about Feri's dilemma and identity crisis. She explores the bearable, producing a truly nice story, modest in all senses of the word.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1978
ISBN: 0393319083
Publisher: Norton