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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
At three, four, and five, a young Kurdish boy, Reza, is interested only in the birds that circle high above him. Years pass, and though he is still a child, the time has come to assume the duties of a man. Donning a bravery he cannot yet possess, he follows his tribe into battle where he emerges the only survivor of a bloody massacre. At 11, the men who killed his father and uncles assign him a new name, an arbitrary age, and a fictional past. Though his life begins again, he can never be the boy he was. He is now a soldier for the newly formed nation of Iran; his Kurdish identity a dangerous memory he must erase.
The Age of Orphans follows Reza's meteoric rise through the ranks of the shah's army. Married now to an educated and influential Tehrani woman, Reza returns to mountains of his birth, where the Kurds are demanding a nation of their own. Duty-bound to suppress their uprisings, he begins to recognize that these people are his own, that the methodical reconstruction of his life cannot hold, and that the cost of a lifetime of lies is far too dear.
Khadivi's stunning debut novel is the story of so many others forced to leave family and homeland at the crossroads of history. It is a tale both tragic and unforgettable. (Summer 2009 Selection)