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Shusha Guppy Biography

(1939– ), The Blindfold Horse, House of Spirits, A Girl in Paris, Looking Back

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Francis Edward Grainger Biography to Thomas Anstey Guthrie Biography

British memoirist and essayist of Persian origin, born and brought up in Tehran. She later studied Middle Eastern languages and philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, before moving to England where she established her career as a singer, songwriter, and recording artist, and as a critic, essayist, and travel writer. Her first book, The Blindfold Horse (1988), a memoir, tells the story of her scholarly Persian family against the deftly drawn backdrop of a dramatically changing mid-century Iran. Guppy's poetic, graceful writing style displays the influence of Karen Blixen. Though her reminiscences adopt the mode of non-fiction, The Blindfold Horse has been compared with Isabel Allende's House of Spirits for its narrative energy and its evocation of a bygone age. A Girl in Paris (1991), its sequel, tells the story of Guppy's years in France, her encounters with such figures as Prévert and Camus, and her discovery of herself as woman and artist. Looking Back (1993) consists of Guppy's dialogues with, and studies of, several eminent twentieth-century women of letters.

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