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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
That Year is a memoir by author Sevda Khatamian which chronicles an autobiographical year in the author’s own life. Though it’s unclear where exactly the year is set, it appears to be a country such as Iran or Turkey where a perceived ‘degenerate’ lifestyle is highly frowned upon. The book opens with the catalyst to all the action as our author moves into a new apartment and her life takes a serious of unexpected and intriguing twists from there. Featuring highs and lows, drugs, realism, and existential thought, Sevda makes both a physical journey from place to place and a developmental journey as she discovers more about herself and the truth about the world around her.
Fans of autobiographical work will find this intriguing. Though the story doesn’t really go anywhere, That Year certainly strikes a chord with anyone who has had difficult life experiences. Sevda Khatamian writes with a brilliant poignancy for one so young, able to look at her life objectively, without sugar coating the truth of the gory details and numerous mistakes that she made during that particular year of her life. The prose may need a tweak to be fully appreciated by an English speaking audience, but the raw quality of the writing has its own charm and a very distinctive voice. Part literary, part existential observation, and part diary-style memoir, Sevda Khatamian has discovered her own unique brand of storytelling which was compelling from beginning to end. Recommended for readers looking for a whole new cultural perspective.