Congratulations to Professor Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi on the publication of her new book 

Island of Bewilderment (Jazireh-ye sargardani in the original Persian) is a historical novel set in Tehran, Iran, in the early 1970s, just a few years before the revolution of 1977–79, which ended the fifty-year rule of the Pahlavis and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was a tumultuous period during which Iran was awash with oil money; the streets of northern Tehran, in particular, were peppered with American and European advisers, businessmen, and their families; thousands of Iranian students filled US and European universities; and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was depicted in the Western press as an enlightened monarch firmly leading his country into a golden age of economic development and cultural flowering. Yet the gap between rich and poor was widening; the rural population, squeezed out of their niche by the mechanization of agriculture and the importation of foodstuffs, was flocking to urban slums; there was growing resentment among the traditional middle and lower classes and among some intellectuals as well of the presence of so many foreigners; religious leaders railed increasingly publicly against the erosion of traditional values by Western cultural influences; and a few small groups of dissidents were preparing for and initiating armed struggle against the state. Island of Bewilderment vividly depicts many of these social, cultural, and economic fissures in Iran at that time and explores the roots and stirrings of political protest.