Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

Catalog » Browse by Title: T » Tehran at Twilight

Tehran at Twilight


Friendship, betrayal, and international intrigue populate this brilliant novel in the tradition of Graham Greene and John le Carré.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“Swift, hard-boiled novel . . . Shadowy zealots exist everywhere, whether in conference rooms or interrogation rooms or—most often—in rooms that can serve as both.”
New York Times Book Review

“Abdoh paints a gripping portrait of a nation awash in violence and crippled by corruption. . . . Captivating.”
Publishers Weekly

“Abdoh . . . gives readers a visceral sense of life in a country where repression is the norm, someone is always watching, and your past is never really past. Recommended for espionage aficionados and for readers who enjoy international settings.”
Library Journal

“A fascinating glimpse of contemporary Iran through the familiar story of childhood friends whose paths are beginning to diverge irreversibly.”
Shelf Awareness

“A penetrating look into contemporary Tehran.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Salar Abdoh is an acute observer of the patterns, flaws, and simple beauties of everyday life . . . [Tehran at Twilight is] an unpretentious, cross-cultural political thriller that rings true in the way only a skillfully crafted novel can.”
San Francisco Book Review

“Abdoh’s restraint with the brutality in present-day Iran in no way tamps down the adrenalin that keeps his characters in action . . . Goodness and mercy eventually carry the day, within limits, and this relatively new author may already have potential readers looking forward to his next novel.”
The Buffalo News

“New history and a fresh take on the same old dirty tricks result in a clever and compelling tale.”
The National (UAE)

“Abdoh is superb . . . Tehran at Twilight is an impressive work of fiction . . . Abdoh’s talent is obvious from the first scene in the story until the bittersweet end.”
CounterPunch Magazine

“Abdoh’s Iran is a place where the question isn’t if one has been complicit, but rather the extent of one’s complicity.”
What If Knits

Included in Library Journal‘s Books That Buzzed at BEA Roundup, the first word on titles and trends from Barbara Hoffert, Editor

“Abdoh deftly captures the uneasy atmosphere of 2008 Tehran, swirling with betrayal and corruption.”
Library Journal, Books for the Masses/Editors’ Picks BEA 2014

Tehran at Twilight is a remarkable meditation on violence, and on all the ways one bears witness to pain . . . At the center lies the story of two friends whose paths have diverged, and of love restored between a mother and a son. A smart, eloquent novel.”
—Dalia Sofer, author of The Septembers of Shiraz

“Connecting the dots of the shadow lives of Iranian, American, and Iranian American double and triple agents, and their double and triple stories in Iran and Manhattan, Baghdad and Berkeley, Abdoh also tells a tale of mothers and sons, using espionage for infrared insight into concealed identities. The startling truth embedded in this tight novel: We Are All Iranians.”
—Brad Gooch, author of City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara

“Tehran—bloated, capricious, corrupt, and with its various secret police agencies competing against one another—becomes a ripe setting for this roman noir . . . Move over Scandinavia: there’s a new kid on the noir block.”
—Hooman Majd, author of The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay

“A smart political thriller for our modern times.”
—Laila Lalami, author of Secret Son


The year is 2008. Reza Malek’s life is modest but manageable—he lives in a small apartment in Harlem, teaches “creative reportage” at a local university, and is relieved to be far from the blood and turmoil of Iraq and Afghanistan where he worked as a reporter, interpreter, and sometime lover for a superstar journalist who has long since moved on to more remarkable men.

After a terse phone call from his best friend in Iran, Sina Vafa, Reza reluctantly returns to Tehran. Once there, he finds far more than he bargained for: the city is on the edge of revolution; his friend Sina is embroiled with Shia militants; his missing mother, who was alleged to have run off with a lover before the revolution, is alive and well—while his own life is in danger.

Against a backdrop of corrupt clerics, shady fixers, political repression, and the ever-present threat of violence, Abdoh offers a telling glimpse into contemporary Tehran, and spins a compelling morality tale of identity and exile, the bonds of friendship, and the limits of loyalty.

Check out Salar Abdoh’s translation of Habibe Jafarian’s “How to be a Woman in Tehran” for Guernica’s special March 2015 issue, “The Boundaries of Gender.”

Read an essay by Salar Abdoh at Tablet.

Read an essay by Salar Abdoh at Guernica Magazine.

Read Op-Ed pieces, “Distress and Defiance in Tehran” and “Grief, Fear and Rage in Tehran” by Salar Abdoh at the New York Times.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Published: 10/7/14
  • IBSN: 9781617752926
  • e-IBSN: 9781617753336


SALAR ABDOH was born in Iran and splits his time between Tehran and New York City. He is the author of the novels Tehran at TwilightThe Poet Game, and Opium; and he is the editor of Tehran Noir. He teaches in the MFA program at the City College of New York. Out of Mesopotamia is his latest novel.

More info »