Nominated by:

De Bibliotheek Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Publisher of nominated edition:

Canongate Books, UK

The King

Kader Abdolah    

Translated from the Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier

2016 Longlist

It is the nineteenth century and the kingdom of Persia is at a turning point. When a young King, Shah Naser, takes to the throne he inherits a medieval, enchanted world. But beyond the court, the greater forces of colonisation and industrialisation close in. The Shah’s grand vizier sees only one solution – to open up to the outside world, and to bring Persia into modernity. But the Shah’s mother fiercely opposes the vizier’s reforms and sets about poisoning her son’s mind against his advisor.

With bloody battles, intrigue and extraordinary characters, The King brings a historical moment brilliantly to life. Reading as fairy tale and shedding light on a pivotal period in history.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Kader Abdolah was born in Iran in 1954. While a student of physics in Tehran, he joined a secret leftist party that fought against the dictatorship of the shah and the subsequent dictatorship of the ayatollahs. Abdolah wrote for an illegal journal and clandestinely published two books in Iran. In 1988, at the invitation of the United Nations, he arrived in the Netherlands as a political refugee. Kader Abdolah now writes in Dutch and is the author of several novels, including My Father’s Notebook and two collections of short stories, as well as works of non-fiction.

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