The Walking by Laleh Khadivi
Iran. 1979. The mullahs have come to power and they want everyone to know. Two young Kurdish brothers, Saladin and Ali, are forced to swear their loyalty to the new regime by taking part in a massacre. In the traumatic aftermath of the killing they flee. For Saladin, the younger, the decision to travel west is exciting; this is the direction of Hollywood, Los Angeles, America. But his euphoria is not enough for the reluctant Ali, who belongs, heart and soul, to the mountain town of his birth. As they cross the treacherous Zagros mountains by foot to Istanbul, to the Azores by freighter and finally as smuggled cargo aboard a plane to Los Angeles, Saladin realises that his dream of a better future can only be fulfilled alone. And as he walks along the hot, shimmering beaches of the promised land, unbearably dislocated, Saladin must define who he will become - and who he's always been. Haunting and beautifully-written, The Walking is a story of exodus; of those many people torn between the lure of home and the lure of hope.