The First Day is tbe second short story by Goli Taraghi i have posted upon for Paris in July 2019. Like The Neighbor it draws on the challenges Taraghi faced after emigrating from Tehran to Paris with her children.
(The Neighbor- A Short Story by Goli Taraghi - 2006. - translated from Farsi by Azizeh Axadi - A Marvelous story about a Family from Tehran adjusting to Life in Paris)
In her preface to this story Taraghi explains her reasons for taking a giant step and her very real issues.
“Author's note: I left Iran in 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution, and settled in Paris with my two small children. I was naïve enough to think that the chaotic upheaval of the beginning eventually would settle into normal life, and I could return. The increased hostility of the government toward the intellectuals and the war with Iraq, which lasted eight years, forced me to stay longer than I had imagined. I was educated in America and did not speak French. I had to start from zero. Fear of an uncertain future, financial worries, being lost and homesick, and many other problems, conscious and unconscious, all contributed to my nervous breakdown. I believed I could fight back personally. I underestimated the destructive force of the enemy. After a year of suffering, I was finally hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic. Taking the right medication restored my mental stability and helped me to overcome my dreadful anxieties, but what came to my rescue and pulled me out of the dark well of depression was the magical force of literature.”
Many deeply into a reading life as well as the writers among us will see the truth in the final lines.
I really urge you to take the few minutes to read this powerful story so I will not go into much detail.
A Story set Psychiatric Clinic of Ville d'Avray. Outskirts of Paris
Imagine the trauma an immigrant to a country whose language you do not speak and finding yourself strapped to a bed in a mental hospital. The narrator of the story came to Paris from Tehran with her two children,there is no mention of a husband but she is brought to the hospital by a man deeply concerned for her well being. Her children are in the care of another woman who immigrated from Tehran. At first she sees it as like a prison, gradually she comes to trust the woman doctor in charge of helping her.
The stories of Goli Taraghi remind me of those of Mavis Gallant and Jhumpa Lahari.
There are two presentations by Goli Taraghi on YouTube.