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Red Hen Press

Mirage by Nahid Rachlin (Paperback) (PREORDER)

Mirage by Nahid Rachlin (Paperback) (PREORDER)

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Fiction - Literary - Family Life - Siblings - World Literature - Middle East - Iran


Set in contemporary Iran, Mirage delves into the complicated relationship between Roya and her identical twin sister, Tala.

Their inseparable bond becomes hard to maintain as they grow older, but when they both get pregnant at the same time, their relationship is rekindled. After an accident causes Roya to miscarry and Tala to go into labor, grief, jealousy, suspicion, and guilt fracture that recently renewed relationship. Delving deep into the human psyche, Nahid Rachlin intricately explores themes of sisterly identity, betrayal, envy, depression, loss, and the impact of memories. Like Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands (Penguin Press, 2020), Mirage artfully juxtaposes the sociopolitical dynamics of contemporary Iran with a story of the nature of grief and redemption that will take firm hold of your heart.


Nahid Rachlin went to Columbia University and Stanford University. Her publications include Persian GirlsJumping Over FireForeignerMarried to a StrangerCrowd of Sorrows, and Veils. Her work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostLA TimesSolstice Literary Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly ReviewPrairie Schooner, and Shenandoah. Rachlin's stories have been adopted by Symphony Space's "Selected Shorts," aired on NPR, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and translated into eight languages. Rachlin is the recipient of several awards, including the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and an NEA Grant. She's taught Creative Writing at Barnard College, Yale University, Paris Writers Conference, Geneva Writers Conference, and Yale Writers Conference. Nahid currently resides in New York, NY.

"I was completely drawn into Mirage and captivated by its haunting young heroine. In spare, yet sensual, prose, Rachlin brings to life the felt experience of women in contemporary Iran. Like the intertwined fates of the two identical twin sisters, Roya and Tala, the personal--loss, betrayal, the tentative border between illusion and reality--intertwines with the political, as the characters navigate within an oppressive and secretive society to balance self-preservation, autonomy, and idealism. With its lush and richly colored setting and surreal and menacing atmosphere, Mirage casts a powerful spell on the reader." --Céline Keating, author of The Stark Beauty of Last Things

"With its lush, intimate details and vivid storytelling, Mirage is at times heartbreaking, at other times urgent--and always deeply compelling. Nahid Rachlin skillfully weaves together complex relationships and a fraught political landscape to bring to life this striking novel. As the disturbing mystery at its center unfolds, Mirage is sure to keep readers entranced until the very last page." --Sofia Romero, author of We Have Always Been Who We Are

"With this story of twin sisters and their divergent fates, Nahid Rachlin dissects sibling intimacy, rivalry, and need in a contemporary Iranian context. Despite unexpectedly tragic complications, the sisters keep faith with their hearts' truths. Mirage is a memorable novel of entanglements--and of the liberation that love makes possible." --Martha Cooley, author of The Archivist and Buy Me Love

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