Cover image for Tehran at twilight
Title:
Tehran at twilight
Author:
Abdoh, Salar, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brooklyn, NY : Akashic Books, [2014]

©2014
Physical Description:
236 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
Iranian ex-pat Reza Malek's quiet professorial life is upended when he returns to Tehran to help his best friend Sina Vava who is involved with Shia militants --
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781617752926
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Swift, hard-boiled novel...Shadowy zealots exist everywhere, whether in conference rooms or interrogation rooms or--most often--in rooms that can serve as both."
-- New York Times Book Review

"Abdoh paints a gripping portrait of a nation awash in violence and crippled by corruption....Captivating."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Abdoh...gives readers a visceral sense of life in a country where repression is the norm, someone is always watching, and your past is never really past. Recommended for espionage aficionados and for readers who enjoy international settings."
-- Library Journal

"A fascinating glimpse of contemporary Iran through the familiar story of childhood friends whose paths are beginning to diverge irreversibly."
-- Shelf Awareness

"A penetrating look into contemporary Tehran."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"Salar Abdoh is an acute observer of the patterns, flaws, and simple beauties of everyday life...[ Tehran at Twilight is] an unpretentious, cross-cultural political thriller that rings true in the way only a skillfully crafted novel can."
-- San Francisco Book Review

"Abdoh's restraint with the brutality in present-day Iran in no way tamps down the adrenalin that keeps his characters in action...Goodness and mercy eventually carry the day, within limits, and this relatively new author may already have potential readers looking forward to his next novel."
-- The Buffalo News

"New history and a fresh take on the same old dirty tricks result in a clever and compelling tale."
-- The National (UAE)

"Abdoh is superb... Tehran at Twilight is an impressive work of fiction...Abdoh's talent is obvious from the first scene in the story until the bittersweet end."
-- CounterPunch Magazine

"Abdoh's Iran is a place where the question isn't if one has been complicit, but rather the extent of one's complicity."
-- What If Knits

Included in Library Journal 's "Books That Buzzed at BEA" Roundup, the first word on titles and trends from Barbara Hoffert , Editor

"Abdoh deftly captures the uneasy atmosphere of 2008 Tehran, swirling with betrayal and corruption."
-- Library Journal , Books for the Masses/Editors' Picks BEA 2014

The year is 2008. Reza Malek's life is modest but manageable--he lives in a small apartment in Harlem, teaches "creative reportage" at a local university, 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.

After a terse phone call from his best friend in Iran, Sina Vafa, Reza reluctantly returns to Tehran. Once there, he finds far more than he bargained for: the city is on the edge of revolution; his friend Sina is embroiled with Shia militants; his missing mother, who was alleged to have run off with a lover before the revolution, is alive and well--while his own life is in danger.

Against a backdrop of corrupt clerics, shady fixers, political repression, and the ever-present threat of violence, 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.


Author Notes

Salar Abdoh was born in Iran, and splits his time between Tehran and New York City, where he is codirector of the Creative Writing MFA Program at the City College of New York. He is the author of The Poet Game and Opium . 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. He is the editor of Tehran Noir and the author of Tehran at Twilight , his latest novel.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Abdoh (Opium) returns to his native Iran and adopted New York in a novel about two Iranian-American friends on opposite sides of the political spectrum. After years spent chasing a Ph.D. studying Sufi mystics and serving as an interpreter for one of America's embedded journalists during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Reza Malek accepts a cushy teaching job at a college in Harlem, far from the fray. But when Sina, his reactionary boyhood friend, calls in a favor from Tehran and asks Malek to serve as the legal executor of Sina's vast estate. Malek journeys back to his childhood home to uphold his end of the bargain. Soon Malek is up to his eyeballs in shady, and potentially life-threatening, dealings, and finds himself being shadowed by a double (or possibly even triple) agent named Fani with an interest in Sina's real estate holdings. Further complicating matters is a reunion with his long-lost mother who wishes to emigrate to the United States, but is on an Iranian government watch-list. Abdoh paints a gripping portrait of a nation awash in violence and crippled by corruption. He also uses Malek's safe life in New York-steeped in stodgy, out-of-touch academia and hemmed in by a typically apathetic American worldview-as an effective counterpoint to the mayhem in the Middle East. Malek's noble quest to do what's morally right despite taxing circumstances is captivating. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Reza Malek and his father escaped Tehran before the revolution, settling in California, where Reza attended Berkeley and met his best friend, Sina Vafa. After earning degrees, the two inseparable companions acted as interpreters for war correspondents reporting on the violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Americanized Reza published a book about his impressions and received a plum job offer at a college in New York City, while Sina returned to Tehran, a city rife with corruption and political intrigue, to become entangled with a reactionary anti-Western organization. When Sina phones Reza, asking for help, Reza has every reason to say no until Sina reveals that he has found Reza's mother, thought to have abandoned her family 30 years before. Straddling two disparate worlds, Reza struggles to understand his mother's story and his friend's involvement in a treacherous game. VERDICT Abdoh (The Poet Game), codirector of the MFA program in creative writing at City College of New York, gives readers a visceral sense of life in a country where repression is the norm, someone is always watching, and your past is never really past. Recommended for espionage aficionados and for readers who enjoy international settings. [See "Books for the Masses," Editors' BEA Picks, LJ 7/14, p. 30.]-Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.