Porochista Khakpour - The Last Illusion

07/24/2014 6:00 pm
America/Denver

From the critically acclaimed author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects comes a bold fabulist novel about a feral boy coming of age in New York, based on a legend from the medieval Persian epic The Shahnameh, the Book of Kings.

In a rural Iranian village, Zal’s demented mother, horrified by the pallor of his skin and hair, becomes convinced she has given birth to a “White Demon.” She hides him in a birdcage and there he lives for the next decade. Unfamiliar with human society, Zal eats birdseed and insects, squats atop news- paper he sleeps upon, and communicates only in the squawks and shrieks of the other pet birds around him.

Freed from his cage and adopted by a behavioral analyst, Zal awakens in New York to the possibility of a future. An emotionally stunted and physically unfit adolescent, he strives to become human as he stumbles toward adulthood, but his persistent dreams in “bird” and his secret penchant for candied insects make real conformity impossible. As New York survives one potential disaster, Y2K, and begins hurtling toward another, 9/11, Zal finds himself in a cast of fellow outsiders. A friendship with a famous illusionist who claims—to the Bird Boy’s delight — that he can fly, and a romantic relationship with a disturbed artist who believes she is clairvoyant, send Zal’s life spiraling into chaos. Like the rest of New York, he is on a collision course with devastation.

In tones haunting yet humorous and unflinching yet reverential, The Last Illusion explores the powers of storytelling while investigating contemporary and classical magical thinking.

Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area. ! She has been awarded fellowships from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Northwestern University, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ucross Foundation, Djerassi, and Yaddo. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is most recently the recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Prose). Her debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects–a New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Chicago Tribune “Fall’s Best,” and 2007 California Book Award winner–is out in paperback. Her other writing (essays, features, reviews, cover stories, and columns) have appeared in or are forthcoming in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, Al Jazeera America, Vice, GQ, The Paris Review Daily, Granta.com, Spin, Slate, Salon, Poets and Writers, and many other magazines and newspapers around the world. As of 2008, she’s been a frequent contributor of personal essays to the New York Times. She lives in New York City. She currently teaches at Columbia University, Eugene Lang College, the Bruce High Quality Foundation, and Wesleyan University (Visiting Writer).

 

The Last Illusion (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781620403044
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 6/2014

Location: 
Street:
202 Galisteo Street
City:
Santa Fe
,
Province:
New Mexico
Postal Code:
87501-6415
Country:
United States
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