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Everything Sad Is Untrue : (A True Story)
by Daniel Nayeri




Overview -
A National Indie Bestseller
An NPR Best Book of the Year
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A BookPage Best Book of the Year
A NECBA Windows & Mirrors Selection
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year
A Today.com Best of the Year

PRAISE

A modern masterpiece.--The New York Times Book Review

Supple, sparkling and original. --The Wall Street Journal

Mesmerizing.--TODAY.com

This book could change the world.--BookPage

Like nothing else you've read or ever will read.--Linda Sue Park

It hooks you right from the opening line.--NPR

SEVEN STARRED REVIEWS

★ A modern epic.--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ A rare treasure of a book. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ A story that soars. --The Bulletin, starred review

★ At once beautiful and painful.--School Library Journal, starred review

★ Raises the literary bar in children's lit. --Booklist, starred review

★ Poignant and powerful. --Foreword Reviews, starred review

★ One of the most extraordinary books of the year. --BookPage, starred review

A sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?

A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee, Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees--starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore.

Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights in a hostile classroom, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (a true story) is a tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard.

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More About Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

 
 
 

Overview

A National Indie Bestseller
An NPR Best Book of the Year
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A BookPage Best Book of the Year
A NECBA Windows & Mirrors Selection
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year
A Today.com Best of the Year

PRAISE

A modern masterpiece.--The New York Times Book Review

Supple, sparkling and original. --The Wall Street Journal

Mesmerizing.--TODAY.com

This book could change the world.--BookPage

Like nothing else you've read or ever will read.--Linda Sue Park

It hooks you right from the opening line.--NPR

SEVEN STARRED REVIEWS

★ A modern epic.--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ A rare treasure of a book. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ A story that soars. --The Bulletin, starred review

★ At once beautiful and painful.--School Library Journal, starred review

★ Raises the literary bar in children's lit. --Booklist, starred review

★ Poignant and powerful. --Foreword Reviews, starred review

★ One of the most extraordinary books of the year. --BookPage, starred review

A sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?

A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee, Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees--starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore.

Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights in a hostile classroom, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (a true story) is a tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781646140008
  • ISBN-10: 1646140001
  • Publisher: Levine Querido
  • Publish Date: August 2020
  • Page Count: 368
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-18
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.55 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Everything Sad is Untrue

“A patchwork story is the shame of a refugee,” Daniel Nayeri writes in Everything Sad Is Untrue. Nayeri’s patchwork story forms a stunning quilt, each piece lovingly stitched together to create a saga that deserves to be savored.

Everything Sad Is Untrue is the mostly true story of Khosrou, who becomes Daniel, and the two lives he has lived in just 11 years. First, there’s his life back in Iran, where his family was wealthy, where he went hunting for leopards and where his parents’ veins were filled with the blood of divinity. Then there’s his life now, in Oklahoma, where he has to learn to survive the bus ride home, where his mother has to learn to survive her new husband and where he realizes his memories of his first life are slipping away.

In the voice of his younger self, Nayeri casts himself as Scheherazade, with readers as his king; we hold his life in our hands. Should we believe his tales? His classmates in Oklahoma don’t. No one believes that the smelly kid who is too poor to pay for lunch in the cafeteria once lived in a beautiful house and dined with the prince of Abu Dhabi. Even Nayeri admits his memory is shaky. Was that really the prince of Abu Dhabi? It’s hard to know when you’re a kid who’s just escaped a religious death squad by fleeing to a foreign country.

The stakes here are life and death, not only for young Daniel and his family during their journey but also for Nayeri the storyteller, who stands before us in “the parlors of our minds,” spinning tale after tale. To stop reading is to condemn him to a death of indifference. But Nayeri is a gifted writer whose tales of family, injustice, tragedy, faith, history and poop (yes, poop) combine to create such an all-consuming experience that reacting with indifference is simply not possible. 

A deeply personal book that makes a compelling case for empathy and hope, Everything Sad Is Untrue is one of the most extraordinary books of the year.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Author Daniel Nayeri and publisher/editor Arthur A. Levine go behind the scenes of Everything Sad Is Untrue.

 

BAM Customer Reviews