Finalist, 2018 John Gardner Fiction prize
The Place of Stones is Ali Hosseini’s newly translated first novel, his second book to appear in English. In it, he paints a vivid portrait of Sangriz, a village in the southern part of Iran where life has been disrupted by industrialization and the revolution of 1979.
Haydar and Jamal are best friends, and their families have always made their living from the land in the foothills of Iran’s Zagros Mountains. Haydar is a dreamer who searches the hills for an ancient treasure called the Black Globe. Jamal is in love with Haydar’s sister, Golandam, and he attempts to accommodate himself to modernization as a way to create a better life for the two of them. The rapacious conversion of farmland to brick factories draws the trio into escalating conflict with the village landlord.
As Jamal, Haydar, and their families confront land reform, industrialization, revolution, and war, their lives are pulled forcefully toward the explosive events that will change them all. In masterfully crafted prose that never sinks into sentimentality, The Place of Stones illuminates how a lost past continues to shape the present.