New translation by Prof. Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi

New translation by Prof. Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi:

The Bewildered Cameleer is a novel by Iran’s first and best-known Iranian female novelist and short-story writer, Simin Daneshvar (1921-2012). Published in Tehran in 2001, it is the second book of what was intended to be a trilogy. The translation of the first book of the trilogy, Island of Bewilderment, has recently been published by Syracuse University Press (2022). Unfortunately, the manuscript of the third book has been lost since 2007. While The Bewildered Cameleer includes most of the same characters featured in Island of Bewilderment, it is not necessary to have read the first book in order to understand and appreciate the second. Each book stands on its own as a complete novel.

The Bewildered Cameleer takes place in Iran (primarily Tehran) during the last few years of the Pahlavi regime and the first years of the Islamic Republic (approximately 1976 to 1981). The story focuses on several young adults trying to work out their personal and familia relationships; to establish their particular stance with respect to political theory and action, philosophical positions, and spiritual beliefs; and to build satisfying lives for themselves in the midst of the significant social, economic, and political pressures of the era. The primary protagonist is Hasti Nourian, a college-educated artist in her late 20s who is somewhat unwillingly drawn into the politics of pre- and post-revolutionary Iran. It is a historical novel, recounting many events of the period vividly and realistically.