The Last Days of Café Leila: A Novel

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Donia Bijan’s The Last Days of Café Leila is a captivating debut novel that lyrically illustrates the beauty of the Iranian people and their culture while also telling their appalling history. Thirty years after her father sent her and her brother to America for a better life, Noor journeys back to her childhood home in Tehran, accompanied by her disgruntled teenage daughter, Lily. Noor discovers upon arrival that her father, Zod, who runs the quaint café that has been in the family for three generations, is terminally ill. While attending to her father and trying to find her identity within the realm of the café, Noor attempts to repair her relationship with Lily. In her defiant attempt to return to America, Lily discovers the danger and ugliness of lingering Islamic revolutionaries, and the café offers solace to her as it has to so many others before.

Written from multiple points of view that oscillate between past and present, Bijan’s novel transports its readers with sensuous, lush language and reveals the remarkable resilience of family. Bijan’s background as a trained chef shines in her tantalizing, poetic descriptions of Iranian cuisine. A riveting story, The Last Days of Café Leila captures the heart of the people of Tehran and their inspiring persistence in the wreckage of the Iranian Revolution.


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Author Donia Bijan
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Algonquin Books
Publish Date 2017-Apr-18
ISBN 9781616205850
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Modern Literature
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