Through Shirin Neshat I discovered Shahrnush parsipur. I love Persian Mystisism and magic realism and felt British and American writers trying to use the concept of magic realism cant quite grasp it as much as Middle eastern or spanish writers. I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez for example and I have also read "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" by American author Aimee Bender which I found disappointing, redundant and childish in comparrison to Marquez and Parsipur. To use Magic realism you have to know suffering and sorrow. There is a sense of Melancholy and a mixture of hope. It is timeless and almost real, but you can't quite touch it-like when you wake up from a dream. It is through the hope that the magic happens and it is through the sorrow that the realism occurs. It is almost as if a realist has a moment of clarity and sees beyond the world infront of him or her and then goes back to being realistic and almost pessimistic about life. There is a sense of swirling poetry in motion in between the reality of Touba's world. The reality of this character is a harsh one, she endures immence amounts of suffering in a world full of political and cultural struggle. Touba in Islamic Mysticism is a scared tree and I do believe you can visit it somewhere in the middle east. There is this texture to Parsipur's writing that is almost like she is weaving a tapestry of that tree and of the character by the same name. One of my favourite quotes are "...he entered the room and looked at the golden hair of the woman who sat in the corner. And she had wanted to sink into the earth, so deep that only her hair remained visiable; to become stalks of wheat blowing in the wind..." You can imagine that scene in a film, of a field somewhere with golden hair seemingly growing out of the soil and blowing in the wind. Absolutley beautiful and poetric to read.