Winner of the 2001 French Human Rights Prize, French-Iranian author Hachtroudi’s English-language debut explores themes as old as time: the crushing effects of totalitarianism and the infinite power of love. She was known as “Bait 455,” the most famous prisoner in a ruthless theological republic. He was one of the colonels closest to the Supreme Commander. When they meet, years later, far from their country of birth, a strange, equivocal relationship develops between them. Both their shared past of suffering and old romantic passions come rushing back accompanied by recollections of the perverse logic of violence that dominated the dictatorship under which they lived.
A novel of ideas, exploring power and memory by an important female writer from a part of the world where female voices are routinely silenced.
“Hachtroudi enchants her readers with this rich work that is at once a love story and a political tale.”—L’Express
“The Man Who Snapped His Fingers is an ode to the mysteries that we all carry within ourselves.”—Paris Match
“An intimately told thriller of sorts. Clever use of flashbacks sets in motion two alternating narratives . . . This novel, full of conviction, powerfully dramatizes the tragedy of dictatorships and the unpredictable tenacity of human sentiments.”—Le Monde des livres
Fariba Hachtroudi decided to leave her home country following the Iranian Revolution in 1979. After relocating to Sri Lanka in 1981, she taught at the University of Colombo for two years and studied Teravada Buddhism. Hachtroudi then pursued journalism and eventually went on to write a full-length non-fiction account about her revisit to Iran after 30 years in exile called The Twelfth Imam’s a Woman? In addition to writing, Hachtroudi also leads a foundation that advocates for women’s rights, education, and secularism.