Savage tongues

by Van der Vliet Oloomi, Azareen,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: On Order 7 copies
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Summary
A new novel by PEN/Faulkner Award winner Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi--"if you don't know this name yet, you should" ( Entertainment Weekly )--about a young woman caught in an affair with a much older man, a personal and political exploration of desire, power, and human connection.



It's summer when Arezu, an Iranian American teenager, goes to Spain to meet her estranged father at an apartment he owns there. He never shows up, instead sending her a weekly allowance, care of his step-nephew, Omar, a forty-year-old Lebanese man. As the weeks progress, Arezu is drawn into a mercurial, charged, and ultimately catastrophic affair with Omar, a relationship that shatters her just at the cusp of adulthood.



Two decades later, Arezu inherits the apartment. She returns with her best friend, Ellie, an Israeli-American scholar devoted to the Palestinian cause, to excavate the place and finally put to words a trauma she's long held in silence. Together, she and Ellie catalog the questions of agency, sexuality, displacement, and erasure that surface as Arezu confronts the ghosts of that summer, crafting between them a story that spans continents and centuries.



Equal parts Marguerite Duras and Shirley Jackson, Rachel Cusk and Samanta Schweblin, Savage Tongues is a compulsive, unsettling, and bravely observed exploration of violence and eroticism, haunting and healing, and the profound intimacy born of the deepest pain.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The narrator of Whiting Award--winner Oloomi's uneven cerebral latest (after Call Me Zebra) reconsiders a relationship she had as a teenager with an older man. Writer Arezu returns from the U.S. to an apartment in Marbella, Spain, where she lived 20 years earlier, when she was 17. During that "strange, wild summer," she had an all-consuming sexual relationship with the 40-year-old Omar, whom she describes as "my lover, my torturer, my confidant and enemy." Her best friend, Ellie, flies in to help Arezu process her emotions (as with the friends' past "recovery journeys," the pair seek to "reverse the language-destroying effects of unbearable pain"). The plot mostly stays put--Arezu swims, the women go out at night, Ellie does a tarot reading--with the narrative focused on Arezu's inner turmoil. While her self-analysis effectively conveys her anguish and Omar's manipulation and emotional abuse, the prose is often stilted ("The injustices he'd assailed against me... could not be contained in a single temporal dimension"). Musings on Middle Eastern politics, including a trip to Israel and occupied Palestine with Ellie, add insight, but in the end, the weighty themes are sunk by portentous delivery. Readers can take a pass. Agent: Molly Atlas, ICM Partners. (Aug.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Love stories.
Publisher Boston :2021
Language English
Description pages cm
ISBN 9780358315063
0358315069
Other Classic View