Art And Culture

‘Speak’ Now in Persian

Cover of the Persian translation of ‘Speak’Cover of the Persian translation of ‘Speak’

A 1999 young adult novel ‘Speak’ by American writer Laurie Halse Anderson, 55, is now available in Persian.

The book was a finalist at the US National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, one of four annual book awards given by the National Book Foundation (NBF) to recognize outstanding literary works by American citizens.

Persian translation of the work is by Hamid Reza Sadr, 61, author, historian, journalist and football critic, who is also known for his articles on cinema, Mehr News Agency reported. Jahan-No Publication has brought out the Persian version in 214 pages.

The book was adapted as a film in 2004 by American script writer and director Jessica Sharzer.

“Speak up for yourself. We want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High School in Syracuse, New York, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school, says an introduction to the book, published by Good Reads (

Melinda is friendless and outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her.

As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was abused by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is a threat to her.

Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Anderson’s novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.


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