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Category: Book
By (author): Djavadi, Negar
Translated By: Kover, Tina
Subject:  FICTION / Gay
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Historical
  FICTION / Literary
Audience: general/trade
Awards: Prix de la Porte Dorée  (2017) Winner
Prix Emmanuel-Roblès (2017) Winner
Prix du Roman News (2017) Winner
Prix Première (2017) Winner
LIRE Best Debut Novel (2016) Winner
Prix du Style (2016) Winner
Publisher: Europa Editions
Published: April 2018
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 8.25in x 5.25in
Our Price:
$ 26.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*WINNER: Le Prix du Roman News, Style Prize,Lire Best Debut Novel 2016, la Porte Dorée Prize

Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five and facing the future she has built for herself as well as the prospect of a new generation, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which come to her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them.

In this high-spirited, kaleidoscopic story, key moments of Iranian history, politics, and culture punctuate stories of family drama and triumph. Yet it is Kimiâ herself––punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a Scheherazade of our time, and above all a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own "disorientalization"––who forms the heart of this bestselling and beloved novel.
Review Quote*

Bookseller Blurbs

"PHENOMENAL! Insightful and compelling...Djavadi takes on huge social topics such as immigration, homosexuality, politics and culture and distills those issues into the personal experience of one girl, who is so genuine and endearing that one can't help but come to understand and have compassion for what she and her family endured. This story is one that needs to be read!"-Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette Bookstore

"A master storyteller, Djavadi unravels Kimiâ Sadr's origin with family lore that has been passed down for generations, beginning with her Persian great grandfather in 1896. Each thread of the family's story builds the foundation for their harrowing escape to France during the Iranian Revolution. This book is a triumph and humanizes the history of a culture that many have ignored." -Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop

Praise forDisoriental

"In a tour de force of storytelling, screenwriter and debut novelist Djavadi deftly weaves together the history of 20th-century Iran [...] with the spellbinding chronicle of her own ancestors. [...] [T]his enchanting novel, well translated and with surprises and delights on every page, perfectly blends historical fact with contemporary themes."-Library Journal

"Authentic, ambitious, richly layered, and very readable, [...] every scene [ofDisoriental] rings true."-Kirkus

"What is obvious from the beginning of this riveting novel is that Djavadi is an immensely gifted storyteller, and Kimiâ's tale is especially compelling."-Booklist (Starred Review)

"Disoriental is a rich, irreverent, kaleidoscopic novel of real originality and power. I've never read anything quite like it."-Alexander Maksik, author ofYou Deserve Nothing

"Djavadi's momentous first novel [...] convincingly and powerfully explores the enormous weight of one's family and culture on individual identity, especially the exile's."-Publishers Weekly

"Djavadi here offers an account of an Iranian family, thought revolutions, relationships, and diaspora, and she does so with a voice remarkably open to humor, warmth, and love. The prose is at once chaotic and precise, charismatic and familiar.Disoriental is a wonder and a pleasure to read."-Rivka Galchen, author ofAtmospheric Disturbances

"Disoriental is epic in scope and yet deeply, even intimately, personal–the novel blows up any lines between the personal and the political, intertwining generations of inherited family stories in a way that doesn't just bring history to life (though it does that as well), it shows the lingering and often cruel effects seemingly disembodied historical forces can cast on an individual like Kimiâ Sadr. And amidst a story that could not be more topical-encompassing political upheaval and emigration, gender and sexuality-Djavadi's reluctantly worldly-wise narrator casually lays bare devastating truths about society and human nature. Stunning."-Tim Mohr, author ofBurning Down the Haus

"By turns heartbreaking and humorous, Negar Djavadi takes us on a whirlwind journey through Iran's modern history, vividly capturing the pain of exile with passion and heart."-Saleem Haddad, author ofGuapa

"Disoriental is a novel that will take your breath away, a lovely hymn to the freedom to live, to think, and to love." -France Inter

"Emotion, comedy, fever, and drama."-Elle

"If the history of Iran had to be contained in a book, set in motion and shaken by its revolutions, it would give youDisoriental...astonishing, disorderly, extraordinary, and enjoyable." -Le Devoir

"Constructed like a vinyl record, with its epic and novelistic A-side and its ‘awkward little sister,' the personal and political B-side,Disoriental has many enticing tracks. These include its narrative strength, held up by the consummate art of digression, changes in tone and rhythm, and the richness of its themes, as well as the precision of the critical eye that it points most notably at French society." -Le Monde des livres

"An incredible story...that leaves the reader dumbstruck, intensely and emotionally thrown off course." -ActuaLitté

"An ample political, historical, and intimate fresco,Disoriental appeals to readers with its freedom, its power, its breath, its language, and offers brilliant reflections on exile and identity. Impressive!" -Le Carnet à spirales

"Magnificent." -Le Soir

"An enchanting writer." -Canal +

Biographical NoteTina Kover's published works include the Modern Library translation ofGeorges by Alexandre Dumas père,The Black City by George Sand (Carroll & Graf), and Maurice G. Dantec'sCosmos Incorporated andGrand Junction. In 2009 she received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for the translation ofManette Salomon by the Goncourt brothers.
Biographical NoteNégar Djavadi was born in Iran in 1969 to a family of intellectuals opposed to the regimes both of the Shah, then of Khomeini. She arrived in France at the age of eleven, having crossed the mountains of Kurdistan on horseback with her mother and sister. She is a screenwriter and lives in Paris.Disoriental is her first novel.