A magnificent and important novel from this highly acclaimed, prize-winning Iranian novelist.For fans of Zadie Smith, Mohammed Hanif, Elif Shafak,Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid and The Association of Small Bombs.Major press coverage anticipated. Khadivi's previous novels received rave reviews and this very timely novel confronts urgent contemporary issues with subtlety and insight.Laleh Khadivi is the author of the Kurdish Trilogy. Her first novel, The Age of Orphans, received the Whiting Award for Fiction, the Barnes and Nobles Discover New Writers Award and an Emory Fiction Fellowship, and was followed by the acclaimed The Walking. She has also worked as a director, producer and cinematographer of documentary films, and her debut, 900 Women, premiered at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Khadivi lives in northern California and teaches at the University of San Francisco. @Laleh KhadiviThe powerful, moving story of a California teenager from an immigrant family who, finding himself in an increasingly hostile world, is turned from a carefree surfer's life towards a culture of fear and fanaticism Laguna Beach, California, 2010. Alireza Courdee, a fourteen-year-old, straight-A student, takes his first hit of pot. In that moment, he is transformed from the high-achieving son of Iranian immigrants into a happy-go-lucky stoner. He loses his virginity, starts surfing, cuts classes and lies to his father. For the first time, Reza - now Rez - feels like an all-American teen. Then a terror incident shocks the nation. As fears escalate, his newfound friends withdraw and Rez becomes increasingly isolated, an object of suspicion because of his name and skin colour. Now he can only relate to Arash, a fellow Muslim student, and beautiful Fatima, who starts wearing a hijab and going to the local mosque. Little by little, Reza is drawn into a troubling new world. Delicately capturing a young man's alienation and search for identity, A Good Country is an unforgettable modern coming-of-age story. It is also a powerful portrait of the ways in which international events reverberate across the globe, damaging distant lives. Insightful, nuanced and emotionally forceful, it is an important book for our times.The powerful, moving story of a California teenager from an immigrant family who, finding himself in an increasingly hostile world, is turned from a carefree surfer's life towards a culture of fear and fanaticismA bold and beautiful work of fiction . Khadivi's language is sensuous and rich . At a time when western readers' perceptions of Iran are too often shaped by current affairs, this book and its sequels will shine a necessary light on the country's dawn, and on its people's remarkable historyThe Age of Orphans has something in common with Chinua Achebe's masterpiece, Things Fall Apart . The style is poetic, intense and lyrical, even when describing events of great brutalityRemarkable for its beautiful and brutal poetry . Khadivi's writing is bleakly expressive and always sensitive to the alterity and particularity, the poetry and the politics of an individual lifePoetic, heartfeltA bleak, bittersweet paean to Laleh Khadivi's birthplace, Iran. In a work which is as beautiful as it is violent, she tells the larger story of the nation's reinvention through the life of a single Kurdish boy . Impressive and courageousAssured and endlessly creativeKhadivi is capable of lyricism and poetry . A brave and haunting book about displacement and identityLyrical and illuminatingThe precision of Khadivi's sentences, each with a gentle rhythm and a sure-footed intelligence, engenders deep sympathy for the miseries experienced by forced migrantsLaleh Khadivi's powerful family saga concludes with a story about teen radicalisation . Khadivi uses a palate of muted shades of grey, thus encouraging in her readers the degree of empathy that's so sorely absent in the interactions between Rez and those who can't see beyond the colour of his skin. Each of the novels in the trilogy is a Bildungsroman, but there's something particularly poignant about Rez's journey from innocence to experience given that, compared with the struggles of his father and grandfather, he's born into land of such plenty and privilege. To emphasise this, much of the story is devoted to typical lazy teenage days, filled with "activities without consequence", the pleasures and boredoms of which Khadivi is excellent at capturing. One doesn't need to have read either The Age of Orphans or The Walking to appreciate the full impact of A Good Country, the tragedy of Rez's fate rings loud and clear regardless, but I wouldn't be surprised if first-time readers found themselves thereafter drawn to the earlier books. To see history repeating itself . is to add another layer of complexity to both storiesUsing vivid characters that bound off the page and dialogue that's millennial and local and deliberate to the last word, Khadivi establishes a sense of familiarity early on in order to prepare the reader for a story that is not at all familiar - it is outlandish and extreme and deeply unsettling. Khadivi's novel poses a mystifying question: how does a lucky, studious American boy, the free child of prosperous Iranian immigrants who never had to suffer, fall into radical Islam? . What Khadivi offers is a frighteningly believable study of one boy's psychological transformation. No doubt, Khadivi's novel will draw comparisons to Mohsin Hamid's much acclaimed 2007 book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which also takes on identity, displacement, assimilation and radicalisation
Laleh Khadivi was born in Esfahan, Iran, in 1977. In the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution her family fled, finally settling in Canada and then the United States. Khadivi received her MFA from Mills College and was a Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction at Emory University. In 2008 she received The Whiting Writers' Award. In 2009 she published her first novel The Age of Orphans. Laleh Khadivi lives in California.