2019 Albertine Prize
2019 Lambda Literary Award
Prix du Style
Prix de la Porte Dorée
2016 Lire Best Debut Novel
Le Prix du Roman News
2018 National Book Award
2019 CLMP Firecracker Award
2019 Best Translated Book Award
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, with a new life and the prospect of a child, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which reach 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.
“Spiced with foreshadowings, packed with big issues from Aids to the rise of the far right, and tempered by strategic reticence, this novel compels the reader’s attention as consistently as it entertains.”
"In her remarkable novel, Negar Djavadi beautifully captures the “disorientation” of exile and the attempt to reconstruct a self through family stories."
—The New York Times
“The novel pulsates with life but does not shirk from violence. The gorgeous prose…takes the edge off the relentless turmoil described throughout.”
—The Financial Times
“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 of Guapa
“Written with love, joy and action, this is an incredible book to savour.”
“...bridging the gap between East and West, and testing the nuances of immigration and exile."
—New York Times Books
“Djavadi’s writing is not linear. She masterfully takes her reader through multiple parallel journeys in time and space.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Authentic, ambitious, richly layered, and very readable”
“A momentous saga of modern Iran.”
Négar 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.