My Fathers Notebook

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In Jirya. A village covered with almond blossoms in the spring and with almonds in the fall. Aga Akbar was born a deaf-mute. The family, especially his mother, communicated with him in a simple sign language. A language that consisted of about a hundred signs. A language that worked best at home, with the family, though the neighbors also understood it to some extent.

But the power of that language manifested itself most in the communication between Mother and Aga, and later between Aga and Ishmael. Aga Akbar knew nothing of the world at large, though he did understand simple concepts. He knew that the sun shone and made him feel warm, but he didn't know, for example, that the sun was a ball of fire. Nor did he realize that without the sun there would be no life. Or that the sun would one day go out forever, like a lamp that had run out of oil.

He didn't understand why the moon was small, then gradually got bigger. He knew nothing about gravity, had never heard of Archimedes. He had no way of knowing that the Persian language consists of thirty-two letters: alef, beh, peh, teh, seh, jeem, cheh, heh, kheh, daal, zaal, reh, zeh, zheh, seen, sheen, sad, zad, taa, zaa, eyn, gheyn, faa, qaf, kaf, gaf, lam, meen, noon, vaav, haa, and ye.

My Father's Notebook: A Novel of Iran by Kader Abdolah, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

The peh as in perestow swallow , the kheh as in khorma date , the taa as in talebi melon , and the eyn as in eshq love. His world was the world of his past, of things that had happened to him, of things he had learned, of his memories. Weeks, months, and years were a mystery to him. When, for example, had he first seen that strange object in the sky? Time meant nothing to him. Aga Akbar's village was remote. Very little went on in Jirya. There wasn't a trace of the modern world: no bicycles, no sewing machines. One day, when Aga Akbar was a little boy, he was standing in a grassy meadow helping his brother, who was a shepherd, tend a flock of sheep.

Suddenly their dog leapt onto a rock and stared upwards. It was the first time a plane had flown over the village. It may, in fact, have been the very first plane to fly over Persian airspace. Later those silver objects appeared above the village often. The children then raced up to the roofs and chanted in unison:. Hey, odd-looking iron bird, come sit in our almond tree and perch in our village square.

Aga Akbar knew that when his mother couldn't explain something, he should stop asking questions and simply accept it. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview When he was a boy, Aga Akbar, the deaf-mute illegitimate son of a Persian nobleman, traveled with his uncle to a cave on nearby Saffron Mountain. About the Author Kader Abdolah is a pen name created to honor friends who died under the oppressive Iranian regime. Senejan itself is not beautiful and has no history to speak of. It's about the wind that carries the sand in from the desert and deposits it on the inhabitants' heads: Oh wind, oh wind, alas there's sand in my eyes, Oh my heart, oh my heart, half-filled with sand.


The rest of the poem goes on in much the same vein. One of these was a great poet, Qa'em Maqam Farahani, whose poetry everyone knows by heart: Khoda-ya, rast guyand fetna az to-ast wali az tars na-tavanam chegidan lab-o dandan-e torkan-e Khata-ra beh een khubi na bayad afaridan. The children then raced up to the roofs and chanted in unison: Hey, odd-looking iron bird, come sit in our almond tree and perch in our village square.

In their minds they see the iron bird sitting in the tree. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Show More. Average Review.

My father's notebook

Write a Review. Related Searches. Anna the Red, a teenage runaway in Seattle, auditions for an amateur theatrical billed as Anna the Red, a teenage runaway in Seattle, auditions for an amateur theatrical billed as a Stone Age Opera. The opera tells an ancient tale from a lost society a story of self-sacrificing innocence overcome by suffocating evil. The inspirational View Product. From the author of Refuge, a magical novel about a young Iranian woman lifted from Ishmael is bred to be his father's interpreter.

Akbar decides his children need educating, so the family moves to the city. Ishmael becomes a left-wing activist, first against the Shah, then the clerics, until imminent arrest forces him to escape. His life in Holland, beautifully evoked as it is, feels almost like another novel, with loose ends tied up at a distance. The evocation of life on the new ground, literally, of the Dutch polder is only one example of how well Kader Abdolah writes. With seamlessly interwoven quotations from Persian and Dutch literature, deft storytelling and affectionate humour, he offers the reader buoyancy as well as weight.

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