An extraordinary novel about the making of modern Iran - Kader Abdolah’s The King, already a bestseller in Europe, is now published in English for the first time
*Longlisted for the 2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award*
Once upon a time there was a Persian prince. The prince had many brothers, for his father had married over a thousand wives, but Prince Naser alone stood to inherit the kingdom.
As the prince ascends to the throne we lurk in his shadow to overhear the whispered intrigues and plotting of bloody battles. The weight of the nation bears heavily on Shah Naser’s shoulders. Will this young king triumph or will he succumb to the forces that threaten to engulf him?
Enter the court of the King of Persia …
“The King is utterly fabulous in both senses of the word: a sly, witty, knowing fable, full of charm and humour. Deceptively simple in its storytelling, it reads like one of Angela Carter’s fairy tales transposed into the nineteenth-century Qajar Persian court. Kader Abdolah is a masterful and completely addictive storyteller”
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“A strong and colourful story illuminating the complex forces that have shaped contemporary Iran”
“Set in the last half of the 19th century, The King is a biography of brutality and ambition; all of its characters strive to shape their own lives as well as the destiny of their evolving nation”
new York Times
“Told in a simple yet gripping style based on the great epic history of early Persia, the ‘Shahnameh’ written by Firdawsi about a thousand years ago. It proves a very effective model for this dramatic tale of a later ruler and his heroic, if often brutal, battles. As in the ‘Shahnameh’, lyrical passages celebrating Persia break up the harsh history”
Kader Abdolah (a pen name created in memoriam to friends who died under persecution by the current Iranian regime) was born in Iran in 1954. While a student of physics in Tehran, he joined a secret leftist party that fought against the dictatorship of the shah and the subsequent dictatorship of the ayatollahs. Abdolah wrote for an illegal journal and clandestinely published two books in Iran. In 1988, he arrived in the Netherlands as a political refugee. Kader Abdolah is the author of several books, including the novels My Father’s Notebook, The House of the Mosque and most recently The King which has been longlisted for the 2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award. He has received several awards, including the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres decoration in 2008.
Nancy Forest-Flier is an American-born translator who has made her home in the Netherlands with her husband, the writer Jim Forest.