"Shattered Peacock" follows the story of Iran's Persian citizens after Shah Pahlavi's downfall and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini's theocratic government. Remnants of 1979's cataclysmic event continue to make Iran dangerous even today. Writing "Peacock" was an opportunity to step into a foreign culture, an ancient culture in a dire crisis. Consider that true Persian dynastic rule began with King Cyrus, known as Cyrus the Great, who was born between 590-580 BC. This wise man can be found in the book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), where he is lauded as a just ruler.
It wasn't that Cyrus didn't conquer cultures and peoples, but that he did allow them to keep their land, their customs and religions, which restored hope to the Jews who were living under oppression. Many rulers came and went for more than 2000 years. Persia's fortunes waxed and waned. Then in 1979, a great upheaval swept Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi from the Peacock throne. The Islamic Republic was born beneath the thumb of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, and the world was unalterably changed. Throughout history, it's usually the poorest citizens or specific ethnic groups who are forced to flee the persecution they face in their countries. However, in 1979, it was the educated, the pro-Western and the wealthy people who had to run for their lives. The greatest minds of Iran emigrated to the United States and Europe, leaving behind a vacuum in what was a storied civilization. "Shattered Peacock" explores this phenomenon. If you enjoy history, you'll savor the accuracy of "Shattered Peacock." If you enjoy a personal, exciting and thought-provoking book, you'll discover one that's ripe for discussion in a book club.