The Walking: A Novel

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9781596916999: The Walking: A Novel

Two brothers from a small Iranian mountain village-Saladin, who has always dreamed of leaving, and Ali, who has never given it a thought-are forced to flee for their lives in the aftermath of a political killing. The journey is beset by trouble from the start, but over the treacherous mountains they go, on foot to Istanbul and onward by freighter to the Azores.There, after a painful parting, Saladin alone continues on the final leg, on a cargo plane all the way to Los Angeles. He will have a new life in California, but will never be whole again without his beloved brother and the living heritage that has always defined him.

The Walking is the second novel in a trilogy about Khadivi's homeland of Iran, a country poised between the ancient and the modern and tossed by political winds that have buffeted the entire globe. Here, Khadivi tells the story of exodus from homeland, an experience that hundreds of thousands of Iranians underwent, and which millions of others, from different places around the world, have also experienced. In the story of two brothers, Khadivi brilliantly explores the tension alive in all immigrants, between the love and attachment to the place they must leave, and the hopes and dreams that lie in the places they are headed.

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About the Author:

Laleh Khadivi was born in Esfahan Iran in 1977. In the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution her family fled, first to Belgium and Puerto Rico, finally settling in Canada and the United States. Khadivi received her MFA from Mills College and was a Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction at Emory University. She now lives in San Francisco.This is her second novel.

From Booklist:

Khadivi follows up her debut, The Age of Orphans (2009), with a tale of two brothers caught in the crosshairs of the Iranian revolution. Saladin and his older brother, Ali, flee Iran after they are forced to participate in a brutal execution carried out by their father and a mullah. On the run, the teen boys only have each other. They cross the border with two shady drug runners and secure passage in cramped quarters on a ship that takes them to an island where they wait with other refugees for a flight that will take them to a place where they hope to get a fresh start. But it is only Saladin who makes it to Los Angeles to embark on a new life. Khadivi moves back and forth in time to reveal how the brothers came to be separated, but also shifts perspective to allow for a wider look at the plight of the Iranians who didn’t leave the country after the Ayatollah seized power. This is a deeply personal and revelatory novel. --Kristine Huntley

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