March 29, 2023

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“Elizabeth Finch” comes to Iranian bookstores

TEHRAN – “Elizabeth Finch” by English novelist Julian Barnes has been published in Persian. 

Ney is the publisher of the book translated by Mohammadreza Tork-Tatari.

From the award-winning novelist, “Elizabeth Finch” is a compact narrative that centers on the presence of a vivacious and particular woman, whose passing becomes the impetus for a man’s deeper examination of love, friendship and biography.

This beautiful, sparse novel of unrequited platonic love springs into being around the singular character of the stoic, exacting Professor Elizabeth Finch. 

Neil, the narrator, takes her class on Culture and Civilization, taught not for undergraduates but for adults of all ages; we are drawn into his intellectual crush on this private, withholding, and yet commanding woman. 

While other personal relationships and even his family drift from Neil’s grasp, Elizabeth’s application of her material to the matter of daily living remains important to him, even after her death, in a way that nothing else does. 

In “Elizabeth Finch”, we are treated to everything we cherish in Barnes: his eye for the unorthodox forms love can take between two people, a compelling swerve into nonfictional material (this time, through Neil’s obsessive study of Julian the Apostate, following on notes Elizabeth left for him to discover after her death), and the forcefully moving undercurrent of history, and biography in particular, as nourishment and guide in our current lives.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of Julian Barnes’s novel “Elizabeth Finch”.


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