Sky of Red Poppies - Kindle E-book by Zohreh Ghahremani

How did the work of an unknown author - not to mention one with an unpronounceable name - become a citywide reading selection? That's still a mystery to me, but if I had to rename my Sky of Red Poppies, I'd call it, "The Little Book That Could!"

The fact that the San Diego Libraries and KPBS gave it the honor to be a 2012 One Book, One San Diego, or that at some point it rose to #1 in Kindle Select - preceding Charles Dickens, no less -, or that for an entire year it remained "the hottest item" on San Diego Public Library system, proves that readers really know what they like. However, I would also like to think that most readers enjoyed this novel because they could relate to some of the characters. A universal story of friendship, Sky of Red Poppies walks its readers through landscapes of Iran and provides a glimpse into a misunderstood culture and history. While a few questions may be answered, at no point is there an attempt to steer readers in a particular direction. They meet people from all walks of life and come to a true understanding of the drastic social changes over the past four decades. The story is a poetic reflection of a time and place that will never be again and I hope for it to be my legacy for the next generation. An old verse by Sa'adi - Iranian poet of 13th century - may explain its unprecedented success. "A word that rises from one heart has no choice but to land in another."

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