Saturday, December 28, 2019

Like a feather floating in the sky

A book review By Ezzat Goushegir

Gracefully honest and skillfully written, Against Gravity by Farnoosh Moshiri centers on the lives of three main characters - Madison, Roya, and Ric - who are seeking to find hope and meaning in life.

With a plethora of rich experiences, the core of the novel dialectically revolves around the opposing forces of love and loss, life and death, and floating and gravity. The synthesis is the text, whose words permeate the very marrow of the reader's bones.

Moshiri's characters in Against Gravity, like her other novels, are concerned with the permanent feeling of imprisonment in a world wherein the horror of living constantly haunts them.

"We are all refugees in a way. Many of us, many Americans, live worse than refugees." P152

Like Moshiri herself, - whose craft of thinking and writing is digging and exploring the deepest part of human existence -, her fictional characters have also the immediate, urgent need to struggle against sinking, to free themselves from the complexity of conditions, and mystification of reasons.

Altering the cast of characters, the lives of the main characters interweave together in the most diverse ways, in both content and style.

In each sequence of historical moments, they face many "what if" questions, which lead them toward this conclusion: no matter if it is right or wrong, it is a relative matter.

Moshiri touches upon the fundamental social problems of today's civilization: loneliness, distrust, disattachment, displacement, isolation, alienation, lack of balance, lack of human touch, lack of tenderness and love.

"We lie down together in our suspended cage, straining to hear that lonely Child." P201

In their motherless and fatherless society, all the characters suffer the loss of loved ones. Lack of emotional support in a ruthless society leads Roya to conclude: "In America almost everything is a deal." P175

Moshiri, generously lends her own rich experiences in life to the newly born characters, allows them to speak their minds, narrate their stories in a unique, distinctive voice, and creating a land within a land which can be more real than the reality itself.

Like characters in Akutagawa's story "In a Grove," none of the characters repeat the same sequences twice.

Timely in content, meticulously structured and organic in the narrative voice, Against Gravity has many layers to be discovered for future reviewers.

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