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My Father's Notebook

A Novel of Iran


About the Book

When he was a boy, Aga Akbar, the deaf-mute illegitimate son of a Persian nobleman, traveled with his uncle to a cave on nearby Saffron Mountain. Once there, he was to copy a three-thousand-year-old cuneiform inscription—an order of the first king of Persia—as a means of freeing himself from his emotional confinement. For the remainder of his life, Aga Akbar used these cuneiform characters to fill a notebook with writings only he could understand. Years later, his son, Ishmael—a political dissident in exile—is attempting to translate the notebook . . . and in the process tells his father's story, his own, and the story of twentieth-century Iran.

A stunning and ambitious novel by a singular literary talent, My Father's Notebook is at once a masterful chronicle of a culture's troubled voyage into modernity and the poignant, timeless tale of a son's enduring love.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A field guide to present day Iran... MY FATHER’S NOTEBOOK is a winning, courtly tale of Persian culture.” —Buffalo News

“Wonderful... Blends contemporary realism with Persian folklore, mirroring Iran’s... history through the eyes of a father and his son.” —Houston Chronicle

“MY FATHER’S NOTEBOOK, a lovely novel, has the cadence of a fairy tale and the clarity of truth .” —Wall Street Journal

“A storyteller of utmost subtlety and natural ease.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Moving and illuminating . . . The history of Iran in the 20th century glints through.” —Publishers Weekly

“An intimate portrait... Abdolah’s prose... is clean and lyrical... A sweeping novel that chronicles the tumultuous modern history of [Iran].” —Kirkus Reviews

“Myth and unlovely reality meet and mingle... Conveys the heartache of an exile who cannot help but feel a traitor.” —Christian Science Monitor

“Beautiful and poetic.” —Library Journal

“Remarkable . . . Moving, dreamlike . . . Scenes are beautifully rendered.” —Providence Journal

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060598723
  • ISBN 10: 0060598727
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 03/27/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price: 19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / General

My Father's Notebook by Kader Abdolah

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