ABOUT THE NOVEL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"An ornate and ambitious spy novel . . . As in all good noir novels, a series of deeper, more paranoid and more personal questions soon arise." -- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Critics pronounced the spy novel dead after the fall of the Berlin Wall THE POET GAME shows that it is alive and well, and living in Manhattan. The voice is spare, clean, and insightful. I was reminded of classic noir. There is a kind of murderous narcissism which belongs both to that genre and to the world of intelligence, and Salar Abdoh captures it brilliantly." -- Eoin McNamee, author of Resurrection Man
"Balancing bombing conspiracies and international arms trading with literary allusions and psychological intrigue, this debut spy novel aims high . . an entertaining and heart-quickening debut." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"THE POET GAME is a spy-thriller with a twist. The author's portrayal . . . lets him depict a complicated view of Iran, one that includes both fundamentalist revolutionaries and secular moderates." -- CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
ABOUT THE NOVEL
Picador USA is pleased to announce the publication of THE POET GAME, a novel by the Iranian writer Salar Abdoh, written in the high literary tradition of such past and present masters of the genre of espionage as Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, and John Le Carre. THE POET GAME is a literary thriller for the twenty-first century, a novel that breaks new ground in its field, with unique insights by a Middle Eastern writer that few, if any, practitioners of the genre have ever put forth before. THE POET GAME was written and completed at a time when the now famous struggle for power between the Moderate and Conservative factions in Iran had not yet surfaced. THE POET GAME is both a prophetic novel and a window into a world few really understand and fewer dare get close to.
Set in New York, in the wake of the World Trade Center bombing, the story begins when Sami Amir, the reluctant hero of the novel, arrives in Brooklyn from Tehran. He has been sent by a small and ultra secret government counter-intelligence agency in Iran to investigate rumors of further bombings and violence by a rival intelligence agency operating through hard-liner elements in Tehran.
Amir finds himself caught up in a web of espionage and counter-espionage, terrorism and counter-terrorism, far more complicated than even he could have envisaged. During the course of his investigations, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful, young American woman, called Ellena, who turns out to be a poet and an erotic dancer, as well as being a spy. Between them, Sami and Ellena untangle the web in which they find themselves caught, as the novel drives towards its startling climax.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Salar Abdoh was born and raised in Iran, until his father had to flee their country following the Iranian revolution. He has degrees in Middle Eastern history and English literature from U.C Berkeley and the City University of New York. Salar Abdoh currently lives and works in New York City.
Abdoh was born and raised in Iran. During the revolution his father had to leave the country quickly, as he was on the original list of fifty or so people who were to have been executed. He was the owner of the Persepolis soccer team. He died a few months after moving the family to the U.S. in 1979.
"I kind of raised myself since the age of fifteen," Salar says. " I traveled around the U.S., didn't finish high school, worked odd jobs, brawled a lot, got sent to juvenile hall a few times, lived in abandoned buildings. At some point in the mid eighties I decided to shape up. Got my degree, went to U.C Berkeley, majored in Near Eastern History and Literature. Then left for the Middle East. Lived in Iran during the early Nineties. Traveled around in Asia. Came back to the States. To New York. Joined my brother, Reza Abdoh's theater troupe, Dar-A-Luz, as a writer. After Reza's death in 1995, I went and got my Masters in Creative Writing and English Literature at the City College of the City University of New York. Currently I teach English at the City University and just published my first book, a thriller called THE POET GAME."
You can emal the author at Zzsalar@aol.com
Abdoh's THE POET GAME has been featured in The Iranian. Read an excerpt from the book here.
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