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The Age of Orphans

The Age of Orphans The story of a Kurdish boy forced to betray his people in service of the new Iranian nation and the tragic consequences as he grows into manhood Before following his father into battle he had been l

  • Title: The Age of Orphans
  • Author: Laleh Khadivi
  • ISBN: 9781596916166
  • Page: 472
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The story of a Kurdish boy forced to betray his people in service of the new Iranian nation, and the tragic consequences as he grows into manhood Before following his father into battle, he had been like any other Kurdish boy in love with his Maman, fascinated by birds and the rugged Zagros Mountains, dutiful to his stern and powerful Baba But after he is orphaned in aThe story of a Kurdish boy forced to betray his people in service of the new Iranian nation, and the tragic consequences as he grows into manhood Before following his father into battle, he had been like any other Kurdish boy in love with his Maman, fascinated by birds and the rugged Zagros Mountains, dutiful to his stern and powerful Baba But after he is orphaned in a massacre by the armies of Iran s new shah, he is taken in by the very army that has killed his parents, renamed Reza Khourdi, and indoctrinated into the modern, seductive ways of the newly minted nation, careful to hide his Kurdish origins with every step.The Age of Orphans follows Reza through his meteoric rise in rank, his marriage to a proud Tehrani woman, and his eventual deployment, as a colonel, back to the Zagros Mountains and the ever defiant Kurds Here Reza is responsible for policing, and sometimes killing, his own people, and his carefully crafted persona begins to crack.Told with an evocative richness of language that recalls Michael Ondaatje or Anita Desai, the story of Reza Khourdi is that of the twentieth century everyman, cast out from the clan in the name of nation, progress, and modernity, who cannot help but yearn for the impossible dreams of love, land, and home.

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      Published :2019-05-22T18:45:48+00:00

    About "Laleh Khadivi"

    1. Laleh Khadivi

      Laleh Khadivi Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Age of Orphans book, this is one of the most wanted Laleh Khadivi author readers around the world.

    648 Comments

    1. This is a bit of a hard book to review. There were times while reading it that I nearly stopped because it got a bit hard to swallow. But I persevered and I believe the effort was worth it.Reza Pejman Khourdi is a Kurdish young boy who is violently conscripted into the Iranian army after his father and other male relatives are brutally slain in battle. For two years he drifts in a haze of service to his village's murderers, carrying out their every whim. He is the plaything of the soldiers who u [...]


    2. This is a book of loss: of land, of mother, and of identity. This is a book of forging ahead in order to construct one's manhood in the shadow of this new country that is also being constructed by the Shah. It's not often that a book makes you remember differently; Khadivi's images and yes, lyrical language transformed my memories of place, made me remember in a fresh way the sights and sounds and habits of my own people. I was engaged with the text, and moved enough to want to read it again and [...]


    3. I debated on whether to give this three or four stars. The meaning of the star system doesn't seem to fit this book for me. I can't say that I liked it OR I really liked it. It's such a bleak story that I found it difficult to read. On the other hand, Laleh Khadivi's writing is lush and beautiful. It's poetic. It's just that often, that poetic language is describing overwhelming loneliness, unspeakable brutality, violent sexual encounters, humiliation, and inhumanity.I'll definitely read other b [...]


    4. Reza Khourdi is a typical Kurdish boy: traipsing among the rooftops of his hometown, wishing he were following in the footsteps of the older men of the tribe and longing for the comfort of his mother. All that changes when Reza joins the elder men on a trip out to the far desert for his circumcision. The procedure is normal for boys of his age, and Reza feels the typical conflicting emotions about it. What happens next in the boy's life is not so typical. Traveling back towards home in the dark, [...]


    5. beautiful writing, a brutal story at times, softened toward the end. I read it because I want to read the next two books in her Kurdish trilogy. 1 3.5


    6. Fascinating, beautifully written (in English, not translated), timely and timeless.I don't remember exactly where or when I picked this up, probably in one of my local bookstores. But I have no doubt why. Having lived in a mostly Kurdish area of Turkey when I was a PC Volunteer English teacher in the 1960's I have maintained an interest in the whole Middle East, and especially in the Kurdish people who live, as the novel says, in the mountainous area where Turkey, Iraq, and Iran come together. T [...]


    7. This is an extraordinary novel. I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything quite like it. Khadivi weaves a tale that is horrifying, with poetic language that mesmerizes. I am shocked and enthralled at the same time as she tells the story of a young Kurdish boy in the 1920s who is captured and conscripted into the Shah’s army, and eventually transformed into the hated enemy. This story tugs at you with every page. Love doesn’t exist here—only the desire for it. I kept asking myself while [...]


    8. A Kurdish boy is orphaned at the age of ten after a battle between the Kurds and the Shah of Iran's military forces in the early 1900's. The policy at that time is to conscript the male orphans into the Shah's army, so our hero trades his old life and becomes Iranian, after witnessing the brutal death of all of his male relatives, including his father who is kicked to death in front of him. Though Reza is the main character, his life unfolds through a series of storytellers, each with their own [...]


    9. The Age of Orphans: a Novel by Lileh Khadivi follows the life of a Kurdish boy from childhood to old age, while Iran grows to nationhood by swallowing the likes of his homeland and people. When the shah’s army massacres his tribe, the boy is orphaned and conscripted all in one. He grows to serve and compete and advance in the army, thus to condemn and purge the Kurd in himself. He grows into manhood desiring the privileges of an Iranian officer, a well-born Tehrani wife, a post in the province [...]


    10. The Age of Orphans, by Laleh Khadivi grabs you by the soul and leads you through a land of beauty and pain, wisdom and arrogance, histories lost and created. Where a boy’s journey is measured by stolen love, memories forgotten, maps that circle upon themselves and back again. I was taken to unknown worlds and misunderstood cultures and could not catch my breath. This book delights the heart and then tests its resilience. I found myself as conflicted as the leading character and I could not put [...]


    11. Beautiful writing to be admired for its power and voice. This book blew me away. Sentences to be read, over and over, appreciating the mastery of language, prose and voice required to write so well. I am thrilled this book is to be part of a trilogy. I learned about a culture I didn't know much about (Kurds) and though the story is brutal and disturbing, if you like to be moved, this is the book for you.


    12. This intended first in a trilogy presents a disquieting revelation of the brutalization of the Kurds by the Iranians. Even so, it is a lyrical and haunting reminder of the dark and the beauty of the human soul.


    13. What a gorgeous book. The prose is delicate and exquisite, and the intimate story of a Kurd boy orphaned and taken by the Shah is heartbreaking to the very end. I'm definitely a picky reader, but I can't recommend this book enough.


    14. I loved this book. A stunning debut novel. The prose pulled me in right away with its lyricism. I enjoyed the changing narration, and the picture it painted of Iran at the moment of its creation through the lifespan of one man.



    15. Poetic, tough, epic. Laleh can turn a phrase, braid history into character, paint powerful images.I know Laleh. She is smart, witty, inquisitive. She's a filmmaker as well as an author.


    16. I really, really wanted to like this book, but I didn't care for the author's writing style. I've heard it called "poetic," and I'd agree with that assessment; however, I didn't find it to be very engaging. It was easy for me to set aside this book and not return to it. I really had to force myself to finish this book.The story told in the pages is worthwhile and interesting. I've read very little about the Kurdish people, fiction or non-fiction alike, and this is a fascinating and tragic era of [...]




    17. I will start off by saying that the writing in this novel was just beautiful as it seemed to me to have almost a poetic prose to it. We are taken through the life of a Kurd from the time he is a young boy living in his village in Courdestan with his family to the time that he is an old man that has been brought full circle through a life of disappointment and changes.I don't recall knowing what the young boy's name was at the beginning of the novel, but he is introduced as a young boy yearning t [...]


    18. "Go. Follow your men from one silly battle to another; claim this pebble-strewn plot or that or that and know this land grows and dies with little care for the men who try to hold it" (32)."Overhead, the moon is a half thing and they sit in the laced night-shade of a rangy ficus" (43).*Describing birds: "Though our ears are empty and our feet frail farces, our lungs breathe the best thin air and our wings rise and fall to draw circles in the sky" (47)."Below: a madness for marking" (48)."At nigh [...]


    19. Excellent novel examining the Kurdish identity through the scope of one Kurd's life: From boy, to officer, to old man. The content is haunting, often disturbing, but the prose itself is poetic and beautiful. The sentiment near the end of the novel of Reza feeling like the mountains are the only place he truly belongs to is what brought the book from 3 stars to 4 for me.A few criticisms: Something minor, but the language used. Kurds don't use "maman" for "mother", they don't use "jounam" for my d [...]


    20. Wow!!! This is some of the most astonishing prose I have ever read! I'm usually taken in more by character (and occasionally plot) than the quality of the prose in a novel. The main character here is certainly one to be reckoned with, as is his story, but it's the shockingly brilliant prose that really sets this novel apart. Often when a book is well written, I begin to take the prose for granted, but every page in this book cries out to be recorded and shared. Sometimes when I DO notice the pro [...]


    21. In 1921, Iran was a new nation. In the Zagros Mountains a Kurdish boy is conscripted into the shah's army after his tribe is slaughtered. The un-named boy is re-named Reza Pejman Khourdi (Reza after Iran's first shah; Pejman for heartbroken; and Khourdi as an ethnic Kurd). Ashamed of his tribal heritage and their effortless slaughter by the modern Iranian army, Reza suppresses all things Kurdish within him. He marries a modern Iranian woman, Meena, in the hopes of becoming more Iranian. As a suc [...]


    22. The Age of Orphans is set in Iran and focuses on the suppression of the Kurdish people. The main character is a mere child as the book opens, he likes to pretend he can fly while jumping from the roof of his low slung home. He is surrounded by uncles, aunts, cousins and a village full of tradition and family. His father takes him along when the men from his Kurdish village go to fight against the Shah’s soldiers. He watches his father and the men of his village brutally killed in battle. The S [...]


    23. Honestly, I don't know what to make of it. On one hand, it was amazing, tasting of the dry dust of the desert and the smoke of Kurdish cookfires, the wide blue sky and the falcon in flight, but on the other hand, as the blurbs on the back of the book stated, it was indeed 'ruthless' and 'unflinching,' pulling no punches and giving you only sparse moments of peace to breathe in between horrific violence and honesty. It was beautiful and awe-inspiring, but at the same moment supremely uncomfortabl [...]


    24. The Age of Orphans is an extraordinary literary work, all the more so for being a first novel. Highly adept in the use of language, the author forges simple words into profound statements. It's not so much the words themselves but how they are used, how they are combined and related, how they are phrased.This is a story of the Kurd peoples, and their history from the 20th century, their struggle against oppression and their desire to remain just who they are.The story is told through the life of [...]


    25. The first thing to say about this book is that the language is incredible. Khadivi writes so poetically, you'll find yourself repeating her phrases just to hear them roll off your tongue. This beautiful, lyrical style makes it a pretty quick read, I finished it in about a half a week and I have a pretty busy schedule. I also thought it was a very different perspective on Middle Eastern revolution and warfare. She took a very specific look at one person's experience and made it about an entire na [...]


    26. Hm this book will stay with me a while I read it while listening to Infidel, so the two worlds were a little similar (both Middle East/African with a touch of the Islam flavor), making me feel more enveloped in it than I may have otherwise felt. I did like this book, and felt I did learn more about this area of the world and its history -- the actual events seemed somewhat false, but I was drawn into the characters and the story -- that of never really losing your roots -- was genuine. I am not [...]


    27. I wish I could give this book a few minus stars - one seems too much. I tried really hard to find even one thing I liked about this book. It never happened, and yes I read the whole thing. Honestly, I see no purpose in this storyline, as the plot is buried in brutality, cruelty and sadness overall.The characters are impossible to like except in the very beginning, when the lead character is a little boy. I know that Kurds have been fighting for independence for many generations, but oh, what a c [...]


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