Emptiness doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something missing—not to me, anyway.
From Tehran’s starry nights to the Perseids over Caraquet by way of Paris, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, Mani Soleymanlou’s story is one of exile and shattered identity. Though he’s described as Iranian and is constantly being asked to spell his last name, he speaks only a few words of Farsi, and his knowledge of his Persian heritage is limited to The Thousand and One Nights!
His impassioned narrative resonates with his search for his roots and his yearning to reconnect with an almost mythical identity. And yet when he transplants that fabled identity to the reality of present-day Iran, he gets a rude shock: he is stunned to discover that he is as much a foreigner there as he is here. And so he asks: Who are we? Where do we come from? What defines what we are? Mani tackles these questions in a compelling monologue full of sincerity, humour and heart.