Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a novel from this award winning author. This is the author’s second novel.
- 304 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544944607
I have no idea why I chose to read this novel, I don’t like stream of consciousness narrative mode, and I have very little interest in the troubled minds of 22 year old women. That being said, I found Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi difficult to put down.
Almost like watching a train wreck happening and you can’t look away.
This is a sharp, yet bizarre and demented story. The protagonist is so self-absorbed in her own journey, literature and ancestors that it’s almost laughable. She expects that any moment the rest of the world would embrace her vision of reality and the “truth”.
I did enjoy the homages to some of my favorite writers, and some which I appreciate but will probably never read. The dead writers are very real to Zebra, real as any other person who spews wisdom and advice at you.
I felt that the author took a wicked pleasure in trying to challenge her audience combining geopolitics with literature.
And she’s laughing all the way to the end.
Some of the book felt like it had to be read out loud. I loved how lyrical it was, every sentence was structured to be said, not read. It’s not an easy book to skim, as this novel has to be read slowly and deliberately.
Zebra is a 22 year old woman, born in Iran to a family who took refuge in literature from the violent present of their time. Zebra is the last of the family which describes itself as “Autodidacts, Anarchists, Atheists”, and feels responsible to hold up the family’s literary torch.
After the death of her father, Zebra decides to retrace some of the places the family has been exiled to. She meets Ludo, a famous Spanish author, also displaced, and the two find a physical and intellectual attraction to one another.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account