bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: sons and other flammable objects /
Subscribe via RSS 
Sons and other flammable objects
Porochista Khakpour
Adult Fiction KHAKPOU

Comments  Summary  Reviews

From Publishers' Weekly:

Khakpour builds her luminously intelligent debut around the travails of an Iranian-American family caught in the feverish and paranoid currents immediately after 9/11. Darius Adam and his wife, Laleh (who, much to Darius's disgust, Americanizes her name to Lala), flee revolutionary Iran for the alien territory of Southern California, settling in an apartment complex with the allegorically enticing name of Eden Gardens. Son Xerxes grows up with psychological "dual citizenship": regular American outside of Eden Gardens, but the son of bitter Darius and clueless Lala inside. Xerxes finds true paradise in watching Barbara Eden, the star of I Dream of Jeannie. For the brilliantly rendered Lala, America is not so bad-it's a good place to ``lose your mind," which is how Lala translates into English her forgetting her unhappy Tehran childhood. Against this background of a parody paradise, Khakpour plays out the events following 9/11, which will, grotesquely, unite the Adam family. By then Xerxes, 26, is an unemployed college grad in a New York airshaft-view apartment, as far from Eden Gardens as possible. Khakpour is an elegant writer, and she imparts a perfect sense of the ironies of being Persian in America, where the blurry collective image of the Middle East alternates between blonde genies in bottles and furrow-browed terrorists in cockpits. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Born in Iran and raised in Los Angeles, Xerxes Adam straddles two cultures in his effort to negotiate a place for himself. Having fled Iran after the overthrow of the Shah, his family settles into a typical suburban life, whose very isolation mirrors the internal conflicts of each character. Desiring distance from his parents and the identity issues they represent, Xerxes moves to New York City, where he believes his anonymity will be assured. But the events of September 11 make such anonymity impossible, placing Xerxes on a collision course with his family, his past, and his sense of self. While there is no shortage of fiction that deals with the subjects of racial and cultural identity, Khakpour's first novel refuses to oversimplify these issues for the sake of a smoother narrative. An incredibly complex book, it acknowledges that navigating the demands of multiple cultures is anything but a tidy process. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Chris Pusateri, Jefferson Cty. P.L., Lakewood, CO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Be the first to add a comment! Share your thoughts about this title. Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog

more titles about

main characters Darius Adam
Iranian American
Fled Iran for America with his wife; bitter; dwells obsessively on his exile.

Laleh Adam
Iranian American
Fled Iran for America with Darius; changed her name to Lala; trying to forget about her Tehran childhood; enjoys being in America.

Xerxes Adam
Age: 26
Darius and Lala's son; grew up watching I dream of Jeannie; graduated college; feels different; moved to New York; determined to completely separate himself from his parents and his heritage.

recent comments
hcl mobile app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS