|Biographical detail : ||Iranian singer, writer and composer.
A talented lady of her generation, Shusha Guppy – a writer, singer and composer of songs – shared her father’s love of Persian classical literature and, like him, drawn to Sufism.
Having gone to Paris, in 1950, at a tender age, Shusha’s brilliance was rewarded with a degree in French literature at the Sorbonne. Her intellectual curiosity drew her into the circle of artists and writers. She recorded her experiences in a memoir, A Girl in Paris (1991), an assessment of Parisian post-war culture. She loved Paris.
Shusha’s insatiable appetite for reading and conversation was matched by a deep love of music and folk traditions of Iran. She began composing her own songs in French and Persian, and soon singing ballads and chansons professionally in Paris. She made 14 LPs during 1960s and 70s, remarkable for their combination of poetic words and melodic charm.
After having got married Shusha moved to London in 1961 and was speaking, writing and singing in English. She continued singing professionally into the 1980s and 90s. She had quickly become fluent in English and, following her divorce in 1976, began another career as a freelance writer.
She wrote of her childhood in Iran in an important book, The Blindfold Horse (1988) that won several awards. In her Three Journeys in the Levant (2001) she looks at the way in which Middle Eastern Muslims attempt to come to terms with the modern world.
Born Shamsi Assar in Tehran, Shusha Guppy was the daughter of a distinguished theologian and philosopher and Grand Ayatollah.