A nine-year-old Kurdish boy plays in his village in the Persian mountains, gazing over the land of his fathers and forefathers. But when messengers from the hills bring whispers of war and rumours that the Shah's army is on the march, he must stand alongside his villagers and fight for their land. Years later, he can only faintly recall the brutal murder of his father and cousins. Orphaned on the battlefield, conscripted and given a new name, Reza is married and has risen up the ranks to become Captain. But there are stirrings within his heart. He will soon be sent west to Kermanshah, to rule as the Shah's servant in the land of his birth.
Laleh Khadivi was born in Esfahan Iran in 1977. In the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution her family fled, first to Belgium and Puerto Rico, finally settling in Canada and the United States. She graduated from Reed College in 1998 and moved to New York where she began to direct documentary films for A&E, HBO and Showtime. The Age of Orphans is the first novel in a projected trilogy that will trace three generations of a Kurdish family as they make their way to the United States and undergo the profound transformations of the immigrant experience. Based loosely on the life of her own family, Laleh Khadivi conducted extensive interviews with her extended family to get at her haunting story of displacement, exile and loss. In 2008 she received The Whiting Writers' Award.