Better Than War
University of Georgia Press
Siamak Vossoughi

“Shoes” is from Siamak Vossoughi’s story collection  BETTER THAN WAR (University of Georgia Press, 2015).  The collection received the prestigious 2014 Flannery O’Connor Award For Short Fiction.  Vossoughi’s work has appeared in Faultline, Fourteen Hills, Prick of the Spindle, The Rumpus, Missouri Review, and Washington Square.  He was born in Tehran and grew up in London, Orange County, and Seattle.


The stories in BETTER THAN WAR encompass narratives from a diverse set of Iranian immigrants, many searching for a balance between memories of their homeland and their new American culture.  All Iranian immigrants, young or old, carry with them a vivid past in their contemporary life. These histories help provide perspective, thankfulness, and virtue to their families and friends. Vossoughi’s collection is about growing up, coming of age, and raising children in America while still retaining Iranian pride.


Writing in Fourteen Hills, Shadia Savo  says:  Siamak Vossoughi’s debut collection of short stories is more than simply a finely crafted, exceptional book: it is a living, breathing, emotional connection. Winner of the 2014 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, Vossoughi’s book begins with a Pearl Jam quote and a story ostensibly about shoes that delves into the politics and social reality of famine and war, and ends with a story about a book that is no ordinary book. Each story is tightly written with an almost austere use of language that is reminiscent of Jean Rhys.

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