A Don Quixote-esque story of exile and pilgrimage, love and obsession
CALL ME ZEBRA
by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February 2018
Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came, her family didn’t fight; they took refuge in books. Now alone and in exile, Zebra leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago. Books are Zebra’s only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic; their time together fraught. Zebra overwhelms him with her complex literary theories, her concern with death, and her obsession with history. He thinks she’s unhinged; she thinks he’s pedantic. Neither are wrong; neither can let the other go. They push and pull their way across the Mediterranean, wondering with each turn if their love, or lust, can free Zebra from her past?
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is the author of “Fra Keeler” (Dorothy, A Publishing Project). She is the recipient of a 2015 Whiting Writers’ Award, a MacDowell Fellowship, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Catalonia, Spain. She has lived in Italy, Spain, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S.A..