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Mahir Guven

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Mahir Guven

Mahir Guven was born in 1986 in Nantes, the stateless child of refugees, his mother from Turkey and his Kurdish father from Iraq. He grew up with his grandmother between the city and vineyards. Older Brother, his first novel, was awarded the Goncourt First Novel Prize in 2018.

All Mahir Guven's books

Latest reviews

  • (...) Meanwhile, Mahir Guven’s masterpiece of a first novel, Grand frère, has just been published as Older Brother in the US. It is a meticulously plotted, funny and tragic story of an Uber driver in a Paris banlieue whose younger brother, a talented theatre nurse at a city...
    — The Guardian, Nov 23 2019
  • Two brothers. Two narrators. Two type fonts: serif for "The Older Brother" chapters; sans serif for "The Younger Brother." Their family has shrunk as Mahir Guven's debut, Older Brother, begins: "...there's only two of us left," the older brother reveals, referring to their acerbic...
    — Shelf Awareness, Nov 17 2019
  • Older Brother is the story of two Franco-Syrian brothers born and raised in Paris. Their mother died when they were in their early teens and the two watched their father try to make his living as a taxi driver. The elder brother smoked a lot of weed and drove for UBER. The younger...
    — Novel Visits, Oct 24 2019
  • This is an eye opening account of a Franco-Syrian family which is struggling to integrate itself in French society. A masterful debut in which Guven paints a searing portrait of the threats of “Uberization” and terrorism in the modern world.
    — Bookriot, Oct 23 2019
  • "How do you tell a bearded Muslim on a bike from a hipster on a fixie? It's a serious problem." It also makes for witty and bouncy storytelling by the eponymous, and what one might call senior, narrator of Older Brother, a novel by Mahir Guven. (The junior narrator is,...
    — Popmatters, Oct 22 2019
  • The debut novel gives the young men not only a voice, but also the reader a chance to look into their heads and get an understanding of their feelings and lacking sense of belonging.
    — Missmerized, Oct 16 2019
  • Big brother is a driver for an app-based car service. Closed off for eleven hours every day in his cab, constantly tuned in to the radio, he ruminates about his life and the world that is waiting just on the other side of the windshield.Little brother set out for Syria several...
    — The Book Trail, Oct 10 2019
  • When French author Faiza Guene’s book, Kiffe Kiffe Demain (Just Like Tomorrow) was published in 2004, it took the world by storm. More than 400,000 copies have been sold and it was translated from French into several languages, while it is now studied in high schools in countries...
    — The National, Oct 9 2019
  • he Older Brother in Mahir Guven’s debut novel drives for a ride-sharing service in Paris while his Syrian-born father is an old-school taxi driver. Their Uber politics conflict is further sullied by their religious divergence. Into this, Guven adds a Younger Brother, a talented...
    — Electric Lit, Oct 9 2019
  • “Older Brother,” the superb debut novel by Mahir Guven, unfolds in Paris “the way you drive a car in the banlieue: tires squealing, running red lights and stop signs.” This may be a story from the city’s outer margins, but it’s one that goes to the heart of questions...
    — The New York Times, Oct 8 2019
  • Older Brother opens with a line that echoes Albert Camus (“Mother died today”) and, more recently, Leïla Slimani (“The baby is dead”): “Death is the only true thing.” That specter of death looms large over the entirety of the slim volume, which is set in the Parisian...
    — Airmail, Oct 7 2019
  • The lives of two brothers take radically different paths in Guven’s thoughtful and sometimes surprisingly witty debut. The brothers, in their 20s and dissatisfied with their lives, are the sons of a Syrian emigre taxi driver in Paris and a French mother who has died by the...
    — Publishers Weekly, Sep 13 2019
  • Older Brother is the poignant story of a Franco-Syrian family whose father and two sons try to integrate themselves into a society that doesn't offer them many opportunities. The father, an atheist communist who moved from Syria to France for his studies and stayed for love,...
    — The Reading Desk, Sep 12 2019
  • "A striking debut that reveals the breadth of emotional disconnection that prejudice can stoke within a family.”
    — Kirkus Review, Jul 15 2019

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