Farnoosh Moshiri

Book cover image

Narrated By: Bernadette Dunne

Duration: 3 hours and 52 minutes

What to expect

In the early days of the fundamentalist revolution in Iran, a seventeen-year-old girl is arrested because of her brother's involvement with leftist politics. She is placed in a makeshift jail—a former bathhouse, in which other women are also being held captive. These women range in age from adolescence to eldery, their mental states from stoic to insane.With intense emotion and great literary skill, Moshiri gives voice to these prisoners, exploring their torment and struggle, as well as their courage and humanity in the face of tyrants.

Based on interviews with real women who have been imprisoned, Farnoosh Moshiri's novel is a gripping and moving narrative of oppression, injustice, and the human spirit.


Historical fiction, Fiction: general and literary, Fiction: general and literary

Listen to a sample

“It’s hard to stop reading…Horrible as it is, you don’t want to turn away from the girl’s first-person nightmare. The language in The Bathhouse is simple, the dialogue taut, the tension immediate.”

Houston Chronicle

“[A] gut-wrenching, eye-opening novel. The Bathhouse shows what happens when ideology runs amok. It honors the humanity and sacrifice of the victims.”

Tacoma News Tribune

“The starkly simple tale she tells is convincing in tone and substance…Moshiri’s impressive novel works at two levels, telling a compelling story while bearing witness to a brutal period in Iranian history.”

Publishers Weekly

“Bernadette Dunne’s narration of the young woman’s ordeal is rendered poignantly. Her delivery is emotional—the pain and despair of the characters are present in her voice in just the right amounts…the results make the book easier to listen to than it might be to read.”


“Both a resolutely nonpartisan antirevolutionary brief and a gripping, harrowing story of personal courage and endurance.”


“Some of the torture scenes are graphic, but there is a great sense of humanity and caring in the face of unreasonable treatment and abuse…the insight of the book is universal.”


“Even as the prison strips away all hope, Moshiri never once lets us forget the humanity of the women of The Bathhouse as they form a family, with all of a family’s capacity for support, betrayal, despair, and dignity. The Bathhouse is beautiful and excruciating, written with such grace that it seems to exist out of time.”