Verlegt von
Akashic Books (2014-10)
Aktuelles Material
1st Pass Pages
Thriller / suspense fiction


by Abdoh, Salar

A fascinating novel in the tradition of Graham Greene & John le Carré that examines the relationship between Iran and the United States through the prism of friendship, betrayal, and international intrigue.

The year 2008. Reza Malek's life is modest but manageable—he lives in a small, empty apartment in Harlem, New York, has a position at a city college teaching “creative reportage,” and is relieved to be far from the blood and turmoil of Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked as a reporter, interpreter, and sometime lover for a superstar journalist who has long since moved on to more remarkable men.

His solitary existence is abruptly disturbed when he gets a call from his oldest friend, Sina Vafa. Sina was, like Reza, a child of the revolution; his family fled Iran for California with little more than the shirts on their backs after the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. Sina and Reza grew up together, united by a common sense of exile and the challenges of assimilating their Iranian heritage to their new, teenage American selves. But unlike Reza, whose background had been solidly middle class, Sina was aristocracy: heir to the legendary Vafa fortune, now the property of the Islamic Republic. Mercurial, perpetually angry, and increasingly political, Sina returned to Iran, vowing to reclaim the money and property the mullahs had seized. That he should fail, vanish, or both seemed inevitable.
But with a terse phone call from Tehran, Sina resurfaces, and he needs Reza’s help. Reluctant as Reza is to return to Iran, he nevertheless agrees to join Sina and serve as his friend’s legal proxy. The Vafa money is tantalizingly within reach. Once in Tehran, Reza finds far more than he bargained for: the city is on the edge of revolution; his friend is embroiled with murderous Shiite militants.
Against a backdrop of corrupt Mullahs, shady fixers, political repression, and the ever-present threat of violence, Salar Abdoh offers a telling glimpse into contemporary Tehran, and spins a compelling morality tale of identity and exile, the bonds of friendship, and the limits of loyalty.

Salar Abdoh is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Born in Iran, he now lives in New York where he is an associate professor in the MFA program at City College of New York. His essays and short stories have appeared in various publications, including the New York Times, BOMB, Callaloo, Guernica, and on the BBC. He is the recipient of the NYFA prize and the National Endowment for the Arts award.

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