With a setting in rural Iran in the years after the Revolution, Ali Hosseini gives us a spare and direct portrayal of people in the midst of great turmoil. With clear prose, he brings to life a village that has been tied for centuries to the earth, to the landscape and to the local community. This is a powerful novel of large-scale change and its impact on people who struggle to either counter it or to adapt their lives to it.— Lee
Finalist, 2018 John Gardner Fiction prize
The Place of Stones is Ali Hosseini's newly translated first novel, his second book to appear in English. In it, he paints a vivid portrait of Sangriz, a village in the southern part of Iran where life has been disrupted by industrialization and the revolution of 1979.
Haydar and Jamal are best friends, and their families have always made their living from the land in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains. Haydar is a dreamer who searches the hills for an ancient treasure called the Black Globe. Jamal is in love with Haydar's sister, Golandam, and he attempts to accommodate himself to modernization as a way to create a better life for the two of them. The rapacious conversion of farmland to brick factories draws the trio into escalating conflict with the village landlord.
As Jamal, Haydar, and their families confront land reform, industrialization, revolution, and war, their lives are pulled forcefully toward the explosive events that will change them all. In masterfully crafted prose that never sinks into sentimentality, The Place of Stones illuminates how a lost past continues to shape the present.
About the Author
ALI HOSSEINI is the author of the novel The Lemon Grove (Curbstone/Northwestern, 2012). The Place of Stones (Sangriz) and two short-story collections were published in Iran, and his short fiction has appeared in Persian in the United States in PAR Monthly and Persian Book Review. His work in English has been published in Epoch, StoryQuarterly, Guernica, Tweed's, Fiction International, American Letters & Commentary, and elsewhere. He lives in the Boston area.