May your hands never feel pain
A young German woman in Iran, and the story of a forbidden love.

A passionate encounter in a foreign culture, which reveals a cheerful, exotic face and lively creativity behind the backs of strict guardians of customs and traditions. “The observations are very true to life, and very sensitive, the language is beautiful, the book suspenseful without being hectic, and the reader’s curiosity grows with every sentence.” Bahman Nirumand, writer and expert on Iran.

“May your hands never feel pain” is one of the many sayings used by Iranians to express their gratitude and respect for others. And this is also what they do in countless rites, including during their encounters with Europeans traveling solo through the country.

These lone travelers have become rare since the country submitted itself to the laws of Islamic fundamentalism, which demand that female foreign visitors cover their hair and completely cover their bodies. Who is this young woman from Hamburg, who goes through one adventure after another in the land of the mullahs as if it were the most normal thing in the world? And who is able, as the narrator, to win her reader’s heart from the very first page, to make her readers into her allies? She is able to make them hold their breath when a there is a heavy knock on her hotel door while she is sharing her bed with her lover Kurosh, a serious crime in this country.

One thing is obvious after a glance at this story: It is written in language precise and poetic, which makes reading the book a unique experience. But it is the character created here who even makes possible the experiencing of the events she tells so brilliantly. This is no naive tourist, this is an alert explorer, incorruptible when it comes to perceiving the inner turmoil of the Iranian culture, both open and courageous enough to allow herself to be touched and changed by it.

Bruni Prasske was born and raised in northern Germany. She studied inter-cultural pedagogy in Oldenburg, worked as a car washer, waitress, academic assistant and social worker in refugee settlements. She has worked on immigration projects in the USA, and for many years has been an intrepid traveler to countries near and far. She has a special relationship to the country of Iran.

Extract - One chapter / 31 pages >>