Introduction to Savushun: A Novel About Modern Iran
Social and Behavioral Sciences
First published in 1969, Simin Daneshvar's Savushun has gone through sixteen printings and sold half a million copies -- a record for a work of literature in modern Iran. The reason is not obscure. Daneshvar's style is sensitive and imaginative. Her story follows basic cultural themes and metaphors. It goes straight to the hearts of a generation of Iranian readers, striking special chords of emotion and memory of the recent past. Savushun enriches a generation's understanding of itself. It encapsulates the experience of Iranians who have lived through the midcentury decades which led up to the 1979 revolution. They feel immediate identity with the major characters, each of whom struggles in their own day-to-day lives with the social and historical forces that gave pre-revolutionary Iran its characteristic hopelessness and emerging desperation -- so inadequately understood by outsiders.