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October 26, 2004

"Pomegranate Soup is an enchanting tale of love, family and renewal that illuminates the magical qualities of Persian cuisine." -- Firoozeh Dumas, Funny in Farsi

Marsha Mehran is the author of Pomegranate Soup, a novel being publised by Random House in Spring 2005. Born in Tehran on the eve of the Iranian Revolution, Marsha Mehran escaped the upheaval with her family for Buenos Aires, Argentina. There her parents set up a Middle Eastern café while she attended a Scottish private academy, where the self-assured tones of bagpipes and rudimentary school kilts instilled in her a life-long love of all things Celtic. Marsha has also lived in the US and Australia. She now resides in the West of Ireland with her husband Christopher, who is constantly called upon to taste her experimental cooking.

About the novel
For the inhabitants of the town of Ballinacroagh in the West of Ireland, the repertoire of gastronomic delights has never extended beyond the limp meals at the local inn's carvery. This all changes when the beautiful Middle Eastern Aminpour sisters sweep into town and open the exotic Babylon Café.

Eldest sister Marjan Aminpour is the nurturer with culinary gifts, who concocts tempting treats like dolmeh (stuffed grape leaves) and rose-water infused baklava.

Layla, the beguiling teenager, finds first love with the son of a narrow-minded town bully. And middle sister, Bahar, dreads memories of the Iranian Revolution and the looming return of her ruthless, radical husband.

But not everyone in the village welcomes them with open arms -- some of the older battle axes fear for the sanity of their husbands; the town’s tyrannical publican has his eye on their property to open the disco he's been dreaming of for years, and his foul-mouthed namesake, Tom Junior has his eyes on Layla...

Part displacement story, part fairy-tale, part comedy of errors, part love story, Pomegranate Soup stirs up a magical tale with delicious recipes for readers of Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate; it will no doubt leave readers hungry for a second helping from this bright new author.

Sent by Christopher Collins
Photo by Jordan Matter

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