cover image I Will Greet the Sun Again

I Will Greet the Sun Again

Khashayar J. Khabushani. Hogarth, $27 (240p) ISBN 978-0-593-24330-5

Khabushani’s beautiful debut centers on K, an Iranian American boy who comes of age in 1990s and 2000s Los Angeles with his parents and two older brothers. His unemployed father, Baba, sees “a light” in K’s eyes, which Baba takes to mean that K is destined for great things. But K, who narrates, is less certain about the direction of his life or where he belongs. Through a series of impressionistic episodes, such as the time he searched the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese for lost coins, K recounts his efforts to “become the American boy I want to be.” Then Baba takes his sons back to Iran, where he says, “Things will be better for us.” They are not—especially when Baba sexually abuses K. After returning home to L.A., without Baba, K, now in middle school, imagines acting on his desires for his neighbor Johnny. As the years pass and his older brothers find their paths in life, K gets a job at McDonald’s, where “the must of potatoes and sweat is permanently wedged into the tiles of the walls.” After 9/11, K feels the wrath of Islamophobia. Khabushani renders K’s experiences in poignant vignettes that speak to the young boy’s sensitivity as he dreams of a better, albeit uncertain future. This heartrending tale will stay with readers. (Aug.)