Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

At the front of a middle school lecture room in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom all people calls “Daniel”) stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no person believes a phrase he says. To them he’s a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.But Khosrou’s stories, stretching lower back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran inside the midnight with the secret police moments behind them, lower back to the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy.And similarly returned to the fields close to the river Aras, where rain-soaked plants bled red just like the yolk of sunset burst over everything, and in addition lower back still to the Jasmine-scented metropolis of Isfahan.We jump among a faculty bus of children armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs to the heroines and heroes of Khosrou’s circle of relatives’s past, who ate pastries that made human beings weep and cry “Akh, Tamar!” and touched carpets woven with treasured gems.Like Scheherazade in a hostile school room, Daniel weaves a tale to save his very own life: to stake his declare to the truth. And it is (a true story).It is Daniel’s.


“A patchwork tale is the shame of a refugee,” Daniel Nayeri writes in Everything Sad Is Untrue. Nayeri’s patchwork tale bureaucracy a beautiful quilt, every piece lovingly stitched together to create a saga that deserves to be savored.

Everything Sad Is Untrue is the mostly actual tale of Khosrou, who becomes Daniel, and the 2 lives he has lived in just 11 years. First, there’s his life again in Iran, wherein his family was wealthy, in which he went trying to find leopards and in which his parents’ veins have been full of the blood of divinity. Then there’s his existence now, in Oklahoma, in which he has to learn to live on the bus ride home, wherein his mother has to learn how to survive her new husband and wherein he realizes his recollections of his first lifestyles are slipping away.

In the voice of his younger self, Nayeri casts himself as Scheherazade, with readers as his king; we hold his lifestyles in our hands. Should we accept as true with his memories? His classmates in Oklahoma don’t. No one believes that the pungent kid who is too negative to pay for lunch inside the cafeteria as soon as lived in a lovely residence and dined with the prince of Abu Dhabi. Even Nayeri admits his memory is shaky. Was that truely the prince of Abu Dhabi? It’s hard to understand whilst you’re a kid who’s simply escaped a non secular demise squad via fleeing to a foreign country.

The stakes here are lifestyles and death, now not handiest for younger Daniel and his own family all through their journey but also for Nayeri the storyteller, who stands earlier than us in “the parlors of our minds,” spinning tale after tale. To forestall reading is to condemn him to a loss of life of indifference. But Nayeri is a gifted writer whose memories of family, injustice, tragedy, faith, records and poop (yes, poop) integrate to create such an all-consuming revel in that reacting with indifference is sincerely now not possible.

A deeply personal e-book that makes a compelling case for empathy and hope, Everything Sad Is Untrue is one of the most great books of the year.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Author Daniel Nayeri and publisher/editor Arthur A. Levine go behind the curtain of Everything Sad Is Untrue.


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