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A Good Country

by Laleh Khadivi - £8.99  Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2018)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781408876039 | ISBN 10: 1408876035

The powerful, moving story of a California teenager from an immigrant family who, finding himself in an increasingly hostile world, is turned from a carefree surfer's life towards a culture of fear and fanaticism.
 
Laguna Beach, California, 2010. Alireza Courdee, a fourteen-year-old, straight-A student, takes his first hit of pot. In that moment, he is transformed from the high-achieving son of Iranian immigrants into a happy-go-lucky stoner. He loses his virginity, starts surfing, cuts classes and lies to his father. For the first time, Reza – now Rez – feels like an all-American teen.
 
Then a terror incident shocks the nation. As fears escalate, his newfound friends withdraw and Rez becomes increasingly isolated, an object of suspicion because of his name and skin colour. Now he can only relate to Arash, a fellow Muslim student, and beautiful Fatima, who starts wearing a hijab and going to the local mosque. Little by little, Reza is drawn into a troubling new world...
 
Delicately capturing a young man's alienation and search for identity, A Good Country is an unforgettable modern coming-of-age story. It is also a powerful portrait of the ways in which international events reverberate across the globe, damaging distant lives. Insightful, nuanced and emotionally forceful, it is an important book for our times.

(Price & availability last checked: July 2018)

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In booklists: Fiction and Poetry: Immigration, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Writers by Surname - K, Political Fiction, World Fiction - USA,
In categories: Fiction, Anti-Racism, Poetry & Writing, Politics & Philosophy, World - North America,

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