Paper by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani

Paper

Bahiyyih Nakhjavani

Used to Western traditions in writing I found this a difficult read but very worthwhile. A beautifully written allegory linking the history of paper with the main character, the Scribe's, search for a meaning to his life as everything changes about him. Very moving and at times very funny descriptions of the other characters (the Warden's Mother, The Georgian, The Prisoner for example) and their lives in a remote Persian mountain town.

Extract

And most recently how many mighty forests had he hacked to pulp for Her Ladyship? All the paper in the world reproached him for wasting it: false inventories, fraudulent contracts, unpaid promissory notes and fathomless debts.

Parallels
  • My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  • The Procedure by Harry Mulisch
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez