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My Father's Notebook

My Father’s Notebook

Kader Abdolah

Translated by Susan Massotty

Aga Akbar is born a deaf mute in a remote Persian village, on the cusp of his country’s forced march into the modern era.

Communicating only in simple sign language, he confounds his mother’s despair to make a life as a master carpet mender. He also keeps a notebook: a mysterious chronicle written in a cuneiform script devised by himself and understood by no one else.

Years later Akbar’s son Ishmael, exiled in Europe and separated from all he loves most, embarks on the task of deciphering the notebook. Who was this man, his father? And what light will his insights shed on the tumultuous times through which he lived?

Peopled with characters of rare power, My Father’s Notebook is a triumph—not only an epic story of Iran’s troubled voyage into modernity, but a magnificent, timeless tale of the bond between a father and a son.

Kader Abdolah
About the Author

Kader Abdolah was born in Iran in 1954. While studying physics in Tehran, he joined a secret leftist party that fought against the dictatorship of the Shah and the subsequent dictatorship of the ayatollahs. He wrote for an illegal journal and clandestinely published two books in Iran. In 1988 he arrived in the Netherlands as a political refugee...

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Text publication date:
1 May 2006
AU Price:
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Praise for Kader Abdolah
andMy Father’s Notebook

‘What grabs the reader is the incredible intimacy of the characters, the warmth of the relationships, the innate solidarity, the empathy of Iranians, who are no strangers to suffering.’

‘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.’

My Father’s Notebook is spiced with poetry, myths and tales of Sufi wisdom from Persian classics and tinged with the pain of struggle and exile. It is a timeless story of a son’s love for his father.’