Its been a while since I was truly moved by something I read. Sometimes when you have an appetite for reading you barely pause to digest what you have consumed before reaching for the next. Summer months, long languid days, sticky heat make everyone and everything you do slow down. Slow way down.
This particular book has been in the pile for a while, it got bypassed a number of time until finally I thought just read it, pick it up and if it fails to engage right now, then release it. No need, this book was so beautiful. Part fable, part love story, quite unlike anything I have read before.
It is about the orphans in life, those that never quite find their fit, who exist with the sharp edge of loneliness like a thorn, always there, even when there are moments of happiness. A young boy rescued from an insane mother who has kept him in a cage, amidst her aviary, only the human bird child lowest in the pecking order. He is later raised with love and tenderness in America to a devoted father and named Zal, after a mythical Iranian figure. Struggling to find his fit in contemporary New York he finds his other in a young artist, intense, angry and all emotional hard edges. Neither of them quite fit, in society at large or with one another. Yet somehow they are drawn together, each offering the other something in making sense of what seems like an unforgiving wider society.
This is a read steeped in the magical, beautifully imagined and capturing the brittleness of the human psyche and the unknown depths of humanity, all its aches and psychic hungers. Most beautiful. Not to everyones tastes perhaps, but so very special.
Title: The Last Illusion
Author: Porochista Khakpour
Publisher: Bloomsbury 2014