Call me Zebra
Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi
Out of stock
Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award
Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
Named a Best Book by:
Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, Boston Globe, Fodor’s, Fast Company, Refinery29,Nylon, Book Riot, The Millions, Electric Literature, Bitch, Hello Giggles, Literary Hub, Shondaland, Bustle, Vol. 1 Brooklyn,Read It Forward,Entropy Magazine,Chicago Review of Books, iBooks and Publishers Weekly
After the death of her father, an exiled Iranian man of letters, the bookish twenty-two-year-old Zebra finds herself alone in New York and decides to retrace the steps of her traumatic flight with her family from their homeland in the 1990s, hoping that in the process she will be inspired to write a major manifesto on literature. Her first stop is Barcelona, where she meets the Italian Ludo, who becomes her lover, intellectual sparring partner and travelling companion in her picaresque meanderings around Catalonia.
A natural-born raconteur, Zebra takes the reader on an irresistible journey through her thoughts, as she conceives elaborate theories about art and is increasingly convinced that her mother has been reincarnated as a cockatoo. Sparkling with wit and mischief and brimming with imaginative vignettes and unconventional musings, Call Me Zebra is a riotous, erudite, unpredictable novel about literature, lust and dislocation.
Zebra is exile as education, history as passion, life as literature, and literature as death. -- Tom McCarthy, author of the Man Booker Prize-finalist Satin Island and Remainder Oloomi's rich and delightful novel... crackles throughout with wit and absurdity... [Call Me Zebra] is a sharp and genuinely fun picaresque, employing humor and poignancy side-by-side to tell an original and memorable story. * Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) * A darkly, funny novel...[and] bombastic homage to the metacriticism of Borges, the Romantic absurdity of Cervantes, and the punk-rock autofictions of Kathy Acker...[Call Me Zebra] is a brilliant, demented, and bizarro book that demands and rewards all the attention a reader might dare to give it. * Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) * There's something really radical about this epic and ecstatic quest. It's in the tradition of Cervantes' ingenious nobleman, but also deeply in conversation with Borges's Pierre Menard and Kathy Acker's own Don Quixote. The young female narrator of Call Me Zebra luxuriates in the tradition of Enrique Vila-Matas's literary sickness, or Kafka writing that he is made entirely of literature. A hilarious picaresque, perverse and voracious. -- Kate Zambreno, author of Green Girl A penniless orphaned refugee, Zebra knows she can count on two things: literature and death. She builds a fortress out of both, surviving on fury, on memories and manifestos, until life begins to break through. Can Zebra handle life? Can literature handle Zebra? Reader, go find out! Call Me Zebra is like nothing else I've read, geo-political and bookish and sexy, quite refreshingly nuts and yet a ripping good read. Also, there's a stolen bird! I'd say I couldn't put it down, but Zebra would never approve a cliche, so I'll pay it a compliment she might actually accept: this book metabolized me. -- Danielle Dutton, author of Margaret the First This novel is not about a zebra but about a whole sharp, amazing, malicious and wicked zoo. Please enjoy responsibly. -- Quim Monzo, author of A Thousand Morons and supporting character in the novel Call Me Zebra An arresting exploration of grief alongside a powder keg of a romance. * Booklist *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?