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Anahita’s Woven Riddle

Anahita’s Woven Riddle

Meghan Nuttall Sayres

When Anahita, a nomadic weaver in early 20th-century Iran, learns that her father wants her to wed the leader of her tribe, a man she finds repulsive, she is determined to design her own fate. She devises a contest in which suitors must guess the meaning of a riddle woven into her wedding carpet. Her idea draws the attention of an extraordinary group of men and brings unexpected consequences for those around her. Who will match Anahita is this game of wits? Or more important, win her heart? This enchanting tale set in an ancient land on the crest of change is enriched with details of Persian culture and Sufi poetry.




ISBN: 978-0-9848359-2-8
$14.95 | 354 pp. | Paperback reissue with discussion guide and glossary

Praise for Anahita’s Woven Riddle

“A richly textured, carefully researched novel … excellent use of Sufi poetry and a strong cast of characters make this more than memorable. Romantic, delightful and educational too!” —Kirkus

“Each character—even the minor ones—was enormously unique and charismatic.” —An Average Blog About Awesome Things

“This is an engrossing story that weaves in Persian culture, history, and surroundings, and portrays the life of a unique young woman and her quest for love.” —School Library Journal

“One of the great gifts of literature is that it can entertain us, while at the same time expanding our world. A case in point is Meghan Nuttall Sayres’s young adult novel, Anahita’s Woven Riddle… Sayres skillfully interlaces a lot of Persian history and culture, including information about the daily lives of nomads, Sufi poetry, and carpets and carpet weaving into Anahita’s story. This is a good choice for readers 12 and up.” —Nancy Pearl Book Reviews

“Anahita’s Woven Riddle offers a glimpse into a world not many books enter. Sayres does an excellent job developing characters that intrigue and tug at the heart.” —Historical Novels Review

“Sayres’ novel is beautifully written and rich in cultural descriptions and characterizations, making it a standout. … Offering history, romance, literature, and an element of mystery, this novel will appeal to a wide cross-section of readers.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The exploration of another culture in an earlier time with a side of almost fairy-tale romance results in a satisfying read” —VOYA

About the Author

Meghan Nuttall Sayres

Meghan Nuttall Sayres is a tapestry weaver who has traveled to Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East and Central Asia, where she has met with scholars, carpet weavers, dyemasters, and merchants to study the age-old techniques, symbolism, and Sufi poetry that infuse many rugs woven throughout the region. Her debut novel Anahita’s Woven Riddle (reissued by Nortia Press in 2012) has been translated into Persian, Hebrew, and Italian. It was chosen as an American Library Association (ALA) Top Ten Best Books, an American Booksellers Association Book Sense/Indie Pick, and an ALA Amelia Bloomer Feminist Choice Book, among other awards. While researching Night Letter Meghan traveled by train across the deserts of Uzbekistan to the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, plotting scenes and imagining Anahita’s possible escape routes. Other books by Meghan include Weaving Tapestry in Rural Ireland and Daughters of the Desert: Tales of Remarkable Women From the Christian, Jewish and Muslim Traditions (co-author). She is also editor of the anthology Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran. Meghan lives in Washington State. She writes regularly for her blog Writing and Wandering: