Book Corner: Broaden Your View of the World with These Historical Fictional Tales | Columns


“Yellow Woman” by Sadeqa Johnson. This intense and well-documented pre-war novel by Johnson centers around Pheby Delores Brown, the biracial child (then known as the “Yellow Top”) of a proud African mother and fathered by their white owner. Pheby’s mother dreams of her daughter becoming free and educated, a promise made by Pheby’s slave-owning father. But instead, 16-year-old Pheby becomes the target of the plantation owner’s jealous wife and is sent to an infamous prison where slaves are tortured. The vile prison owner makes Pheby his “yellow wife” and Pheby lives in fear of her sadism, her dreams of freedom fading away with the birth of each of her children.

“The stationery” by Marjan Kamali. A love story that begins in Tehran, in 1953, when the citizens of the city, the new Prime Minister and the Shah of Iran clash. In a small stationery store, Roya and Bahman, 17, meet and an intense love develops. Bahman, like Roya’s father, is a supporter of the new Prime Minister Mossadegh, but also participates in dangerous activism. His mother is determined to distract her son from Roya. It is only with the help of Mr. Fakhri, who allows the young couple to meet in complete privacy in their shop, that the romance can continue. The couple are then separated by the hope that they will enter into arranged marriages, as well as by the violence that erupts when the prime minister is toppled. Sixty years later, in 2013, Roya nears the end of her life with her American husband when she finds out that her first love Bahman is in a nearby retirement home.

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