The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer

Jewish LearningWorks’ 6th Annual

A project of the Jewish Community Library

Winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award and PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Orange Prize

“As intelligent as it is

gripping.” — Kirkus Review

“This is a story that needs to be told…timely and ripe for discussion.” — Library Journal

One Bay One Book is:
A yearlong conversation reaching Bay Area adults through opportunities for lively Jewish learning. Stimulated by a selected book and its themes, the program connecting readers through discussions, events, and informal conversations.

On the bookshelf for 2017-18: The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Sofer’s novel is set in Tehran in 1981, as Jewish gem trader Isaac Amin is imprisoned by the Revolutionary Guard. His wife, Farnaz, struggles to keep from slipping into despair, while his young daughter, Shirin, tries to take matters into her own hands. Far away in Brooklyn, Isaac’s son, Parviz, though not religious, falls for the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord. Sofer masterfully captures the small tensions and larger brutalities that sharply affect a family that does not conform.
Marking its tenth anniversary, the novel remains particularly relevant during a time when renewed attention is given to the plight of refugees and to the vulnerability of Jews and other minority groups in many lands during troubling times.

Born in Tehran in 1972, Dalia Sofer came with her family to the United States in 1983. She graduated from New York University and received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her debut novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, received the Sami Rohr Prize Choice Award and the PEN/Robert Bingham Prize, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and Orange Prize..

Book Groups:
If you are part of a book group, consider making The Septembers of Shiraz one of your books for discussion. To reduce barriers to participation, a limited number of book sets will be made available free of charge on a first come, first served basis by the Jewish Community Library, through our Book Club in a Box lending program.

Join the Conversation!
More than a thousand people in seven Bay Area counties participate in One Bay One Book events each year. For information about resources, book discussions, and additional events, visit: or contact us at  or 415.567.3327 x 703.

Be a Partner: 
If you are part of an organization or institution, we hope that you will join us as we embark on the sixth year of this celebrated program. Becoming a partner allows your organization and its constituents to enjoy dynamic learning experiences and connect with the larger Jewish community.  Please contact us at or 415.567.3327 x 703 to learn more about the program and becoming a community partner.

The Jewish Community Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street; between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. There is free garage parking at the entrance on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. For more information visit the website: