ALI ESKANDARIAN - GOLDEN YEARS (2015)

Set in the first decade of the 21st century in New York, Teheran and Dallas, Golden Years is a novel perfumed with excess and spirited decadence. It tells the story of a group of Iranian musicians in their twenties and our narrator, in his 30s, who is in thrall to the great American beats and has visions of Ancient Assyrian Futurism. Hungry and poor, high and hopping from bed to bed, and lover to lover, the characters in Golden Years are romantic exiles living with rock n roll as their religion.

As Ali Eskandarian wrote, in an email to publisher Oscar van Gelderen: "The novel is called American Immigrant and is about someone like myself: immigrant, war child, rock n' roller, artist trying to live in a modern world he finds infuriating / exhilarating. There is an insurgent political bent to the writing, also lots of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. There are characters very similar to the Yellow Dogs as well. I lived with the dogs for almost two years and we got to have some fun. I think it could be the great Iranian-American novel, or at least that's what I'll call it until someone proves me wrong." 

Biography: 

Ali Eskandarian (1978-2013) was a highly talented musician and the author of the novel Golden Years, which will be published posthumously worldwide. Eskandarian’s transnational upbringing made him a prescient voice for our era. The Iranian-American troubadour drew upon influences as discrete as American folk, rock and traditional Persian music to craft songs about love, travel, politics and loneliness. The results have earned him comparisons to greats like Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley. Ali was born in Pensacola, FL, on September 11, 1978. Growing up in Tehran, during the Iranian Revolution, Ali found strength in music and the arts. The family left Iran and was granted political asylum in Germany before relocating to Dallas, Texas, where Ali experienced an arts-filled adolescence. Ali had been living in New York since 2003. His debut album, Nothing to Say, was released on Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records. He has toured the States several times including as opener for Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) and with fellow Iranians Yellow Dogs. 

Good to know:

  • Published in the UK by Faber Social (publisher: Lee Brackstone) on january 7th 2016. Published in Holland, Romania and Germany in november 2015

  • Great article in The Guardian when the deal with Faber Social was announced

  • An extract of the book was published by Vice

  • Buzzfeed named Golden Years as one of the 27 must reads for this winter

  • The Skinny, a cultural online magazine, published a 5 star review and ran an interview with Oscar van Gelderen about Ali and Golden Years

  • Golden Years was launched at the Crossing Border festival (The Hague, Holland) in november 2015 in the presence of Ali's mother, brother, sister and family

  • Afterword by Oscar van Gelderen, publisher at Lebowski. Read it here

  • Special website developed by Faber Social

  • Unique cover design for the Dutch edition, created by Icy and Sot, available for foreign publishers

  • www.alieskandarian.com for more background information

  • Excerpt on Excerpts on Ali’s page on Medium

  • Check out Ali Eskandarian’s Facebook page for news

  • Download Presskit

Rights sold:

  • Holland (Lebowski)

  • UK (Faber & Faber) World English

  • Germany (Berlin Verlag)

  • Portugal (Marcador)

  • France (Inculte)

  • Italy (Giunti Editore)

  • Spain (Malpaso) World Spanish

  • Turkey (Dogan Kitap)

  • Romania (Polirom)

 

Quotes:

'Seemingly semi-autobiographical and with a measure of Hunter Thompson and a dash of Jack Kerouc. Like a survivor found in the rubble long after an earthquake, Golden Years came blinking into the sunlight and Ali's voice could be heard again.' Tim Burgess (The Charlatans)

‘Ali Eskandarian’s posthumous novel makes perfect reading for sober January days… The book would be gripping and poignant in any circumstances, but what doubles its power for the reader is knowing the fate of Eskandarian himself… It’s a beat novel, which demands to be compared with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, as well as Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City… his stubborn fidelity to his art is granted a bittersweet vindication.’ Marcel Theroux, The Guardian

'This haunting, rough diamond of a novel glints with searing images as it takes the reader on an extraordinary, intense journey through emotional and psychic extremes. Along the way, at its best, it alchemises “a thoroughly lonesome feeling” into some exquisite passages of prose.' Anita Sethi, The Observer

‘This book is in many ways a new version of the Beat novel genre. It enchants the reader with brutal honesty about sex, drugs, music and war. A new beat longing to be heard, it adds unique depth to the typical Beat narrative with its undercurrents of apprehension and destruction, provided by a very national, personal and cultural war, and the delicacy and allure of its author. Eskandarian's new beat and superb account of the pursuit of art will linger with you, ringing in your ears. As he himself questions in Golden Years, “Has the past ever been so dead and alive at the same time?” ’ Rosie Barron, The Skinny *****

 

Press:

The Guardian

New York Times

Rolling Stone

VPRO 3voor12 (article and radio interview with OvG)

No One Knows Why Persian Cats Sing (documentary)

 

Social:

Facebook

Website

 

Contact:

Rights are handled by Lebowski in collaboration with Vicki Satlow Literary Agency, Via Cenisio 16, Milano, Italy
E: Vicki@vickisatlow.com
M + 39 0248015553