By Dave Burke
By: Mary Griffin
Award-Winner in the Women’s Issues category of the 2019 International Book
In 1979, Nasrin Parvaz returned from England, where she had been studying, and became a member of a socialist party in Ira fighting for a non-Islamic state in which woman had the same rights as men. Three years later, at the age of 23, she was betrayed by a comrade and arrested by the regime’s secret police.
Nasrin spent the next eight years in Iran’s prison system. She as systematically tortured, threatened with execution, starved and forced to live in appalling, horribly overcrowded conditions. One Woman’s Struggle is both an account of what happened to her during those eight years and evidence that her spirit was never broken. Nasrin’s memoir is a story of friendship and mutual support, of how women drew strength from one another and found endless small ways to show kindness and even find tiny specks of joy.
This book, however, is not simply about the prison system in Iran. It is about oppression – and especially the oppression of woman – wherever it takes place. It deserves to stand with Primo Levi’s If This Is A Man as an indictment of cruelty, brutality and the dehumanizing of fellow human beings.
Catriona Troth, author of Gift of the Raven and Ghost Town.