Our World Literature Series continues, this time featuring a reading and conversation with Salar Abdoh, author of A Nearby Country Called Love. It is a sweeping, propulsive novel about the families we are born into and the families we make for ourselves, in which a man struggles to find his place in an Iran on the brink of combusting.
Haunted by the death of a woman who lit herself on fire in Zamzam, Tehran, Issa is forced to confront the contradictions of his own family history while protest and violence stew in the streets. Issa soon finds himself thrown into a circle of people living on the margins of society, negotiating a razor-like code of conduct that rewards loyalty and encourages aggression and intolerance in equal measure. As the city explodes around him, Issa realizes that it is the little acts of kindness that matter most, the everyday humanity of individuals finding love and doing right by one another.
A Nearby Country Called Love is both a captivating window into contemporary Iran and a portrait of the parallel fates of a man and his country—a man who acknowledges the sullen and rumbling baggage of history but then chooses to step past its violent inheritance.
This reading is followed by a moderated conversation with Anderson Tepper, as well as an audience Q&A and a book signing. You can purchase your own copy of Salar’s book, A Nearby Country Called Love, at City of Asylum Bookstore.
About the Author:
Salar Abdoh was born in Iran and splits his time between Tehran and New York City. He is the author of the novels Tehran at Twilight, The Poet Game, Opium, and Out of Mesopotamia, and he is the editor of Tehran Noir. He teaches in the MFA program at the City College of New York.
About the Moderator:
Anderson Tepper is City of Asylum’s Curator of World Literature. He serves as co-chair of the international committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival and is a guest curator of the 2023 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. Formerly of Vanity Fair, he writes on books and authors for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and World Literature Today. Anderson Tepper also serves on the City of Asylum Advisory Board.
About Your Visit:
The in-house restaurant 40 North is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but a cash wine bar will be available.
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