Dorit Rabinyan Critical Essays


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Dorit Rabinyan Persian Brides

Rabinyan is an Israeli journalist, poet, and novelist.

Dorit Rabinyan is an Israeli journalist who became a poet and novelist. She wrote her first book, Persian Brides (1997), when she was only 23 years old. Originally written in Hebrew, the novel was translated to English by Yael Lotan. The novel tells the story of Flora, a young woman in the Jewish section of a turn-of-the-century Persian town. Only fifteen years old, a pregnant Flora has been abandoned by her cloth-merchant husband. As Flora pines for her lost love, her cousin Nazie longs for the day when she will marry Flora's brother. The longing of the two girls for marriage is contrasted with the realities of the married women in the village, including hard work and mistreatment by their husbands.

Many critics pointed out the authentic detail Rabinyan used in the novel to create a realistic and vivid setting. Some reviewers referred to the magical, almost fairy-tale atmosphere the novel evoked. Commentators asserted that Rabinyan's understanding of her characters and confident prose style belies her youth. Michael Lowenthal stated, "she writes with the wise and leisurely assurance of a town bard recounting communal myths."