Download : Solacers
Best Nonfiction Finalist, Stanford University Libraries, William Saroyan International Prize.
Solacers tells the touching story of a boys search for family life and safety following the divorce of his parents in Iran during the 1960’s. The first child of a heartless father and a discarded mother is left to fend for himself on the streets of Mashhad, seeking food and shelter wherever he can. His lonely early years are an unbelievable tale of cruelty and betrayal on the part of nearly everyone who might be expected to help, save for one aunt who does her best to keep him from starving. But living a harsh and solitary existence has one advantage for this little boy: other than forcing him to be self-reliant, no one attempts to indoctrinate him on Iranian societys archaic cultural values and religious beliefs. And so he never accepts his wretched state as fate, choosing instead to dream big dreams about getting an education, having his own family, and starting a new life – possibly in the faraway land called America. He makes a plan and by the age of 17 he boards a plane to the land of possibilities, where his dreams eventually also take flight.
One of "30 Moving memoirs every student should read." – OnlineCollege
"He was neither an orphan, nor a street kid but life dealt him such a hand that now, those who hear the story of his childhood in Iran, consider him an Oliver Twist in the streets of Mashhad. His childhood could be summarized in two words: Hungry and Forlorn.” –BBC
"If you devoured “The Glass Castle,” vividly remember “Angelas Ashes,” and were fascinated by “Destined to Witness,” if you loved the colorful descriptions, the oriental storytelling and the ornate language of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” you will definitely get your money’s worth reading “Solacers,” by the American author Arion Golmakani." – Joke Brocker, Westfälische Nachrichten
“Congratulation on writing such a first class book.” – Dr. Ehsan Yarshater, Author of Encyclopedia Iranica, founder and director of The Center for Iranian Studies and Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies at Colombia University.
"A story of hope, determination, and forgiveness, Solacers is a remarkable tale of resilience and optimism, with lessons for us all. Golmakani gives voice to children everywhere who long for nurturing and hunger for security." – Hans J. Massaquoi, retired managing editor of Ebony Magazine and the author of best-selling book, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany.
"I confess, when I read the publishers blurb about your book online, my expectations were low. I feared it would be another "escape from Iran" narrative, in which Muslims (or people "from there") featured as the enemies of reason and civilization. There are so many such Orientalist tales in circulation, and they feed into a politics of fear which I find very dangerous. How wonderful to be surprised by a story that captured the people you encountered in all their humanity" – Eva Sajoo- Research Associate- Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
“Sometimes when life became too overwhelming for my poor young mother, out of frustration and despair she would say; ‘If I only didn’t have you, I would have surely found a suitor to marry me by now.’ I was three then. After she remarried and eventually left town, and I became responsible for myself, and when life got too overwhelming for me, I often pondered the same thought; ‘If I only didn’t have me.’” – The author.