Parisa Reza was born in Tehran in 1965 to a family of intellectuals and artists, and moved to France at the age of seventeen. She was awarded the Prix Senghor 2015 for her first novel, The Gardens of Consolation.
“Reading The Gardens of Consolation feels like being on a flying carpet with your grandmother and listening to her telling you a bedtime story about once upon a time in a fantasy world.”
— World Literature Today, Mar 1 2017
"So rooted, indeed, is Parisa Reza’s writing in the fertile soil of Iran that "The Gardens of Consolation" seems to contain an entire nation.”
— The Christian Science Monitor, Feb 13 2017
“Reza presents to the reader a very different view of Iran than that reported by newspapers and magazines. Though Reza left the country when she was 17, the land has made an indelible mark on her. Her love for the struggling shepherds and farmers is palpable.”
— Historical Novels Review, Feb 1 2017
"So rooted, indeed, is Parisa Reza’s writing in the fertile soil of Iran that The Gardens of Consolation seems to contain an entire nation."
— Barnes and Noble Review, Jan 17 2017
"The novel is at its best when it evokes the family’s comfort, despite the upheavals, in sensual, timeless pleasures: vats hot with rose petals and lamb, 'the smell of jasmine and damp soil.'"
— The New Yorker, Jan 9 2017
"The Gardens of Consolation heralds the arrival of yet another prodigiously talented French-Iranian author, Parisa Reza, whose outstanding debut novel, like the works of Marjane Satrapi and Fariba Hachtroudi, voices a side of Iran rarely glimpsed in Western media."
— Shelf Awareness, Jan 6 2017
"Reza's writing, aided by Adriana Hunter's talented translation from the French, is lyrical, the text almost reads like a fable. At once simple and vivid, the author brings Iranian history, attitudes and politics to life in an engrossing, entertaining and informative way.”
— BookBrowse, Jan 5 2017
"[An] exquisite, deceptively quiet novel...evolves from an intimate chronicle of Talla and Sardar’s provincial lives into a sweeping tour through early-20th-century Iran."
— The New York Times, Dec 25 2016
"Iranian French author Parisa Reza’s stunning debut, The Gardens of Consolation unfolds over decades of fascinating Iranian history and culture, from the fall of the Qajar dynasty to the nationalization of oil, all seen through the eyes of one remarkable peasant family."
— The Boston Globe, Dec 23 2016
"...an intimate, beautiful, heartbreaking family drama set amidst the stage of pre-cultural revolution Iran."
— Words Without Borders, Dec 20 2016
"At once a love story and a chronicle of political and social upheaval, Reza’s novel is an important introduction to some of the major turning-points in Iranian history."
— BookRiot, Dec 12 2016
THE GARDENS OF CONSOLATION was named one of Entropy Magazine's Best Books of 2016!
— Entropy Magazine, Dec 2 2016
"A family saga set against the backdrop of early to mid-century Iran’s political upheaval, Reza’s novel (translated from the French) contrasts a bright, politically ambitious son with his simpler but no less interesting peasant parents."
— Flavorwire, Dec 1 2016
"The Iranian-French author’s debut juxtaposes Iran’s rural roots with its explosive urban history in the story of one humble family that travels across the divide."
— Vulture, Dec 1 2016
"[Reza] never loses track of her intimate focus on one family whose lives are shaped by love, loyalty, tradition, and the continual adjustments required as political power shifts."
— BBC, Nov 29 2016
"This engaging novel is a must-read for anyone interested in trying to understand the true nature of Iran, a country often demonized in the West but that Reza reveals as a place of universal human experiences."
— Booklist, Nov 15 2016
THE GARDENS OF CONSOLATION was named one of PW's "Best Books of 2016!"
— Publishers Weekly, Oct 31 2016
"[Reza] is uncommonly generous to her characters, and Talla is a formidable, hard-to-forget heroine."
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review), Oct 4 2016
“Winner of 2015's Prix Senghor for a debut novel by a Francophone writer, this compelling book raises important questions about indulgence, gender, community, and the impact of politics on everyday life.”