Better Than War

Stories

Title Details

Pages: 152

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 03/01/2018

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5374-6

List Price: $19.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 09/15/2015

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4853-7

List Price: $24.95

eBook

Pub Date: 09/15/2015

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4852-0

List Price: $24.95

Better Than War

Stories

Stories about Iranian Americans and their effort to never give up in their search for peace

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  • Description
  • Reviews

The stories in Better Than War encompass narratives from a diverse set of Iranian immigrants, many searching for a balance between memories of their homeland and their new American culture. The everyday life of each character subtly reflects viewpoints that are simultaneously Iranian and American, of all ages and circumstances. These stories deal with family, friends, relationships, urban life, prison, school, and adolescence. They also contain powerful messages about what people want, need, and deserve as citizens and human beings. For instance, in the story "Better Than War" a young Iranian boy must overcome the fear of asking an American girl on a date. His friend tells him there is no shame in pouring your heart out to someone you like. The boy must realize that expressing emotion and sorrow is worth the embarrassment because it shows loved ones that you are better than hatred-and especially better than war.
All Iranian immigrants, young or old, carry with them a vivid past in their contemporary life. These histories help provide perspective, thankfulness, and virtue to their families and friends. Vossoughi's Better Than War is about growing up, coming of age, and raising children in America while still remembering the importance of retaining Iranian pride.

Siamak Vossoughi's quiet but powerful stories capture the intricacy and profundity of the Iranian American experience. His characters are people just like us struggling to make sense of an often confusing world. Their inherent decency, delicacy of feeling, and desire for understanding are what defines them and what makes this big-hearted collection so special. Better Than War marks the debut of a thoughtful and important new literary voice.

—Anita Amirrezvani, author, The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun

Siamak Vossoughi's stories reveal an unjaded sense of wonder, which I have not witnessed in any writer since William Saroyan. The figures in these beautifully nuanced fictions seamlessly come together to touch the pressure points of our consciences. As such, the characters here act to better our ethical impulses and open our eyes to the possible goodnesses in the world. Vossoughi's compassionately realized appeal is to make vulnerable our communities--Iranian, American, and others: "all of whom deserve every moment of life before them, knowing somewhere that each of them is better than war, and not needing any vision of war to remind them."

—Benjamin Hollander, author of In the House Un-American

Vossoughi is a writer with a lot to say, a voice we should listen to, because we might just learn something about what it means to live in a world where war is so commonplace, yet rarely takes place on American soil. . . These are stories that will stay with you, long after you have finished the last page.

—Shadia Savo, Fourteen Hills

About the Author/Editor

SIAMAK VOSSOUGHI is an Iranian-American writer whose collection Better Than War came out in 2015. The collection was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. He has received a fiction
fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He lives in San Francisco.