Cover Image for Half a Cup of Sand and Sky

Resonating with tenderness, Half a Cup of Sand and Sky is a moving portrait of one woman’s search for love and belonging cast against a nuanced backdrop of political turmoil

Half a Cup of Sand and Sky

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It is 1977, and the anti-shah protests at Tehran University are intensifying, but Amineh is not like her peers who want a say in the future of their country. Her thoughts are on the literature of another era and her past of rose harvests and Sufi poetry evenings under the desert sky. A chance encounter with a disarmament activist will thrust her into a life she didn’t ask for and didn’t want. Nobody wanted the tyranny that is quickly turning worse than the tyranny it replaced. But maybe Amineh has been looking at her life all wrong—Maybe the thing she is seeking is not in the past at all.

Praise for Half a Cup of Sand and Sky:

“Richly layered. . .a real gem.” —MAHBOD SERAJI, author of Rooftops of Tehran

“. . .Enticing. . .Thought-provoking. . .” —Kirkus Reviews

“An exceptional book. . . it will captivate folks of all genres and ages with its craft, vitality, and wisdom.”
—Independent Book Review

“Rich with longing, heartbreak, romance, and intrigue. . . [A] standout debut. . .” —Publishers Weekly

“A wise, beautiful novel featuring a woman facing the eternal challenge: how to create an authentic self. . . I adored this book.” —JOAN STEINAU LESTER, PEN Josephine-Miles Award winning author of Loving Before Loving: A Marriage in Black and White

“A captivating story that respects the complexity of Iran and its history and shines a light on the many courageous Iranians striving for democracy, human security, and freedom."
—TRITA PARSI, author of A Single Roll of the Dice

“A masterfully crafted novel. . . Bjursten's storytelling is both emotionally resonant and intellectually stimulating, making it a must-read for lovers of literary fiction.” —Readers Favorite

“A searing love story unfolds against the violent background of Iran's Islamic Revolution and the upheaval that followed.” —STEPHEN KINZER, author of All the Shah’s Men

Estimated Ship Date: October 10th, 2023


Nadine Bjursten

From New York, Nadine Bjursten has spent more than a decade researching Iran’s rich cultural and political history. She is the previous editor of foreign policy journal Arms Control Today and press liaison for the Global Security Institute. She now lives in Lund, Sweden, with her husband and twin daughters.

Book Details

Publisher Alder House Books
Genre Literary Fiction
Publication Date Oct 17 2023
ISBN 9789198861617
ISBN 9789198861624

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