My Father's Notebook: A Novel of Iran

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9780060598723: My Father's Notebook: A Novel of Iran

On a holy mountain in the depths of Persia there is a cave with a mysterious cuneiform carving deep inside it. Aga Akbar, a deaf-mute boy from the mountain, develops his own private script from these symbols and writes passionately of his life, his family and his efforts to make sense of the changes the twentieth century brings to his country. Exiled in Holland a generation later, Akbar's son Ishmael struggles to decipher the notebook, reflecting how his own political activities have forced him to flee his country and abandon his family. As he gets closer to the heart of his father's story, he unravels the intricate tale of how the silent world of a village carpet-mender was forced to give way to one where the increasingly hostile environment of modern Iran has brought the family both love and sacrifice.

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Review:

‘A magnificent story informed by the Arabian Nights, the farce of the modern world and the tragedy of fanaticism’ -- Les Inrockuptibles

‘An original and subtle novel . . . The history of Iran unfolds like a beautiful Persian carpet’ -- Le Monde Des Livres

‘Ingenious . . . Love, death, betrayal and religion written with Abdolah’s celebrated skill’ -- Dolce Vita

From the Back Cover:

A modern fairytale from the land of Scheherezade Ishmael is a young man bound by exile. Since he fled Persia in his twenties, during its bloody transition into modern-day Iran, his heart has yearned for home. Only now, separated from all he loves most, does the discovery of a strange notebook – written in his father’s private script – prompt Ishmael to confront his family’s biggest mystery. Rich in the myths of Persia, My Father’s Notebook reveals an untold history of a fabled land. "Reads like a detective story . . . A moving elegy for a lost father and homeland, but also a voice raised against all forms of repression." Guardian "Simply told, with a lightness of touch that strengthens the taut symbolism of the whole, it shows a nation lurching into a hostile modern world and what that does to an age-old thing like the bond between a father and his son." Big Issue "Beautifully evoked . . . with deft storytelling and affectionate humour, Abdolah offers the reader buoyancy as well as weight." Independent "A storyteller of the utmost subtlety and natural ease . . . a moving and conflicted tribute to a marvellous character." Times Literary Supplement "Beautifully realised, in often touching and amusing detail . . . an intriguing, complex and often playful novel." Scotland on Sunday CANON#GATE Cover design by Peter Dyer Cover photographs: Getty Images Author photograph by Harry Pierik www.canongate.net ISBN 978 1 84195 927 6 £7.99

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