Land of the Turquoise Mountains: Journeys Across Iran
Cyrus Massoudi, 2014
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: I.B.Tauris (November 26, 2014)
For Cyrus Massoudi, a young British-born Iranian, the country his parents were forced to flee thirty years ago was a place wholly unknown to him. Wanting to make sense of his roots and piece together the divided, divisive and deeply contradictory puzzle that is contemporary Iran, he embarked on a series of journeys that spanned hundreds of miles and thousands of years. Rich portrayals of Sufis and ageing aristocrats, smugglers and underground rock bands are all woven together with history, religion and mythology to form a unique portrait of contemporary Iranian society. And, running through the heart of the narrative, lies Massoudi's poignant personal quest; his struggle echoing that of Iran itself, as it fights to forge a cohesive modern identity. Land of the Turquoise Mountains reveals a world beyond the propaganda-driven, media-fueled image of fractious, flag-burning fundamentalism and provides a compelling glimpse both into the heart of a deeply misunderstood nation and into what it is to seek out and discover one's heritage.
'A fascinating insider-outsider view of a complex country we badly need to know more about. Writers like Cyrus Massoudi who illuminate our ignorance are vitally important as the West squares up for yet ill-considered intervention in the Muslim world.'
'shed[s] salutary light on contemporary Iran...the more quickly we are able to see through the veneer, the better; and...Cyrus Massoudi...will help us to do that.'
'The value of this book is not in the description of the places or the history, but in the conversations he has with people he meets on the way ... these are the sixpences in the Christmas pudding.'
'a compelling glimpse of a deeply misunderstood nation'
'Adventurous...penetrating the ancient kingdoms, reaching every tribal redoubt, from the Kurds to the Turkomen, Massoudi reconstructs his own identity (that of a Brit of Iranian extraction) and challenges the stereotypes and conceits of what Iran means in the world today.'
'This debut travelogue, written with a maturity that belies Massoudi's relatively tender years, sheds much-needed light upon a land of contrasts and outright contradictions...This insightful account...is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand one of the world's most enigmatic nations'
'takes the reader on an illuminating journey through Iran and its rich, turbulent history'