Compared by Danzy Senna to "the young Philip Roth" for her "lashing, dark humor tinged with deep melancholy," Porochista Khakpour is one of her generation's most outrageously gifted new talents. Sons and Other Flammable Objects is at once a comedy and a tragedy, a family history, and a modern coming-of-age story with a distinctly timeless resonance. Growing up, Xerxes Adam is painfully aware that he is different!*with an understanding of his Iranian heritage that vacillates from typical teenage embarrassment to something so tragic it can barely be spoken. His father, Darius, obsesses over his sense of exile, and fantasizes about a nonexistent daughter he can relate to better than his living son; Xerxes' mother changes her name and tries to make friends; but neither of them can help their son make sense of the terrifying, violent last moments in a homeland he barely remembers. As he grows into manhood and moves to New York, his major goal in life is to completely separate from his parents, but when he meets a beautiful half-Iranian girl on the roof of his building after New York's own terrifying and violent catastrophe strikes, it seems Iran will not let Xerxes go.
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 369 g
Dimensions: 210 x 140 x 29 mm
"Sons and Other Flammable Objects is a marvelous novel: witty, wise, continually surprising, continually inventive, exuberant, heartbreaking. It resists the easy categories of immigrant lit, family saga, first novel--because it is, first and foremost, a delightful, generous work of literary art."
"Hypnotic, kaleidoscopic, gorgeous, and mad, this novel is a brilliant and astonishing debut. And the story it tells is the best kind of story--where comedy and tragedy weave together mysteriously and yet organically, like a shifting in the play of light, like life itself."
"Like the young Philip Roth, Porochista Khakpour uses lashing, dark humor tinged with deep melancholy to paint a wonderfully twisted portrait of family life. Xerxes Adam, the 'son' of the title, is a protagonist for our times: repulsed by his father and alienated from his motherland, he hides from his origins in the ashes of post-9/11 New York. This is a novel of searing Intelligence."
"Khakpour explores ethnicity, nationalism, and post-9/11 fear--well-worn themes that are far less compelling than the exuberant originality of her style. The characters burst from the page in fiery exchanges, while their chaotic inner lives are conveyed with witty precision . . . Khakpour's comic sense of familial tensions--particularly father-son enmity--is infectious."--The New Yorker