The House of the Mosque

The House of the Mosque

4.07 (8,912 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

In the house of the mosque, the family of Aqa Jaan has lived for eight centuries. Now it is occupied by three cousins: Aqa Jaan, a merchant and head of the city's bazaar; Alsaberi, the imam of the mosque; and Aqa Shoja, the mosque's muezzin. The house itself teems with life, as each of their families grows up with their own triumphs and tragedies.

Sadiq is waiting for a suitor to knock at the door to ask for her hand, while her two grandmothers sweep the floors each morning dreaming of travelling to Mecca. Meanwhile, Shahbal longs only to get hold of a television to watch the first moon landing. All these daily dramas are played out under the watchful eyes of the storks that nest on the minarets above.

But this family will experience upheaval unknown to previous generations. For in Iran, political unrest is brewing. The shah is losing his hold on power; the ayatollah incites rebellion from his exile in France; and one day the ayatollah returns. The consequences will be felt in every corner of Aqa Jaan's family.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 137 x 214 x 32mm | 490g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 184767240X
  • 9781847672407
  • 406,083

Review quote

A moving elegy for a lost father and homeland, but also a voice raised against all forms of repression... My Father's Notebook reads like a detective story: information is withheld so that we gradually discover the background to Ishmael's exile. * * Guardian on MY FATHER'S NOTEBOOK * * With seamlessly interwoven quotations from Persian and Dutch literature, deft storytelling and affectionate humour, he offers the reader buoyancy as well as weight My Father's Notebook is a gift to English readers. * * Independent * * Abdolah's juxtapositions - the spiritual and the earthly, myth and reality - give the story a powerful irony . . . Abdolah lathers the story with an almost deliberate nostalgia, choosing not to drive recent history into the present day. Instead, he presents just the nascent phases of the revolution and the wide-eyed innocence of those, such as Aqa Jaan, who held such high hopes for all it could have been. -- Arifa Akbar * * Independent * * Kader Abdollah . . . tells this story straight from the heart. And it's on the heart too that it leaves an indelible mark. -- David Robinson * * Scotsman * * Beautifully written and fiercely readable. -- Jane Shilling * * Daily Mail * * Kader Abdollah skillfully guides readers through the key worlds events and their effects on the Aqa Jaan household, in this book that offers unique insight into the Iranian Revolution. Moving without being overly sentimental and entertaining and entertaining while staying true to the facts, this expertly mingles fiction and personal history to create a thought provoking novel. -- Jo Rowles * * Waterstone's Books Quarterly * * Compelling and moving, the book delivers, in spite of all the tragedy, a sense of hope. * * Skinny * * Abdolah lathers the story with an almost deliberate nostalgia, choosing not to drive recent history into the present day. Instead he presents just the nascent phases of the revolution and the wide eyed innocence of those, such as Aqa Jann, who held such high hopes for all it could have been. * * Belfast Evening Telegraph * * Warm, generous and ultimately optimistic. -- Sally Kinnes * * Sunday Herald * * Richly sensuous. * * Independent * * Kader Abdolah's fable-like story of a family caught in the turmoil of the Iranian revolution is beguiling and utterly original. It is that rare thing: a deeply political novel that informs, thrills, and moves in equal measure * * Tahmima Anam, author of A GOLDEN AGE * *
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About Kader Abdolah

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, at the invitation of the United Nations, he arrived in the Netherlands as a political refugee.

Kader Abdolah now writes in Dutch and is the author of several novels, including My Father's Notebook (also published by Canongate) and two collections of short stories, as well as works of non-fiction. In 2008 Kader Abdolah was honoured with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
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Rating details

8,912 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2,982)
4 45% (4,023)
3 17% (1,502)
2 4% (319)
1 1% (86)
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