A timely novel about the radicalization of a Muslim teen in California--about where identity truly lies, and how we find itLaguna Beach, California, 2010. Alireza Courdee, a fourteen-year-old straight-A student and chemistry whiz, takes his first hit of pot. In as long as it takes to inhale and exhale, he is transformed from the high-achieving son of Iranian immigrants into a happy-go-lucky stoner. He loses his virginity, takes up surfing, and sneaks away to all-night raves. For the first time, Reza--now Rez--feels like an American teen. Life is smooth; even lying to his strict parents comes easily.But then he changes again, falling out with the bad boy surfers and in with a group of kids more awake to the world around them, who share his background, and whose ideas fill him with a very different sense of purpose. Within a year, Reza and his girlfriend are making their way to Syria to be part of a Muslim nation rising from the ashes of the civil war.Timely, nuanced, and emotionally forceful, A Good Country is a gorgeous meditation on modern life, religious radicalization, and a young man caught among vastly different worlds. What we are left with at the dramatic end is not an assessment of good or evil, east versus west, but a lingering question that applies to all modern souls: Do we decide how to live, or is our life decided for us?
Laleh Khadivi was born in Esfahan, Iran, in 1977. She received her MFA from Mills College and was a Creative Writing Fellow at Emory University. She is the author of The Age of Orphans, a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick; and The Walking, among others. She has been awarded a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, and an NEA Literature Fellowship. She has also worked as a director, producer, and cinematographer of documentary films. Khadivi lives in Northern California.
Nissim Mishal is one of the foremost television personalities in Israel. After graduating with a master's degree in political science, he joined the staff of the Israeli state television and worked as a political reporter, Washington correspondent, and director-general. He has published two bestselling books about great events in Israel's history.