Better Than War

Better Than War

by Siamak Vossoughi


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820353746
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Series: Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction Series , #19
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Shoes 1

The Broken Finger 6

The Street 9

Nine Innings 13

The Movie Quitters 18

In the Library 22

Too Much Genius 25

Better Than War 29

The Room 33

People in Profile 39

The Couple 45

Boy in Prison 48

The Rain Check 52

The Easel 57

The World is My Home 61

1953 66

You Don't Leave 70

Take Our Daughters to Work Day 76

The Theater of War 79

Back and Forth 84

Sunday in the Park 89

The Bookshelves 96

Princes 98

Why the Rabbit Looks Pityingly Upon the Donkey 102

Flower-like 104

The Narrator 112

Every Man a Showman 117

Don't Forget about Egypt 123

The Book That Was Too Good to Read 126

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