“[A] masterful debut . . . a novel of survival and longing and love, and in many ways a modern portrait of an artist as a young man . . . a book written for us, we Iranian Americans whom you don’t often hear about.”—Porochista Khakpour, The Washington Post (Best Books of the Year) “A triumph . . . a book of astonishing accomplishment and bravery.”—Dina Nayeri, The Guardian
Winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association
An Amerie’s Book Club Pick • A Phenomenal Book Club Pick
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley with his two brothers, all K wants is to be “a boy from L.A.,” all American. But K—the youngest, named after a Persian king—knows there’s something different about himself. Like the way he feels about his closest friend, Johnny, a longing that he can’t share with anyone.
At home, K must navigate another confusing identity: that of the dutiful son of Iranian immigrants struggling to make a life for themselves in the United States. He tries to make his mother proud, live up to her ideal of a son. On Friday nights, K attends prayers at the local mosque with Baba, whose violent affections distort K’s understanding of what it means to be a man and how to love.
When Baba takes the three brothers from their mother back to Iran, K finds himself in an ancestral home he barely knows. Returning to the Valley months later, K must piece together who he is, in a world that now feels as foreign to him as the one he left behind.
A stunning, tender novel of identity and belonging, I Will Greet the Sun Again tells the story of a young man lost in his own family, his own country, and his own skin. Staring down the brutality of being a queer kid and a Muslim in America, Khashayar J. Khabushani transforms personal and national pain into an unforgettable and beautifully rendered exploration of youth, love, family—and the stories that make us who we are.
About the Author
Khashayar J. Khabushani was born in Van Nuys, California, in 1992. During his childhood he spent time in Iran before returning to Los Angeles. He studied philosophy at California State University, Northridge, and prior to completing his MFA at Columbia University he worked as a middle school teacher. This is his first novel.
“[A] heartbreaking debut.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Masterful . . . This is a novel of survival and longing and love, and in many ways a modern portrait of an artist as a young man. . . . A book written for us, I can hear so many people of so many different demographics say—we Iranian Americans whom you don’t often hear about. . . . Reading I Will Greet the Sun Again, you are not a voyeur—you are an accomplice, a keeper of secrets, a friend on this journey of relentless intensity.”—Porochista Khakpour, The Washington Post
“Tender and gut-wrenching . . . a book of astonishing accomplishment and bravery . . . This book is a triumph, one that will help the next generation understand our specific American childhood—how it felt to grow up with broken immigrant parents and one foot still in Iran, sitting in front of a TV in a sad apartment complex, dreaming of the good life.”—Dina Nayeri, The Guardian
“Beautiful . . . 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.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A tale of diaspora that is as gutting as it is tender . . . Every word, deft and unassuming, shatters.”—Anahit Behrooz, The Skinny
“Haunting and poetic.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A marvel . . . Reading it, I felt the thrill and joy of encountering a major writer at the beginning of his career.”—Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning
“A heat map of longing, shame, and resilience.”—New York Magazine
“A moving debut, teeming with desire and light, and quietly devastating . . . Khabushani’s voice keens and surprises, and at the center of the book, we find K, tenderhearted, spirit glowing like a beacon.”—Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
“This is a book I’ve dreamed of reading my whole life. . . . Better late than never, Khashayar J. Khabushani. I am jealous of the generation of people who will grow up in a world with I Will Greet the Sun Again in it. I will be thinking about these characters forever.”—Kaveh Akbar, author of Pilgrim Bell
“A story for us brown kids who grew up in apartment complexes, making our own breakfast, lunch, and dinner because our immigrant parents were away at work . . . Khabushani’s voice is a revelation; he has written a novel that shows what it means to grow up into a beautiful young man.”—Javier Zamora, author of Solito
“Exquisite, heartbreaking, incredibly beautiful . . . this is a novel to return to again and again.”—Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water
“Khashayar J. Khabushani has taken a coming-of-age story and flooded it with light. . . . This is a gorgeous and wrenching debut from a writer I’ll be following for many years to come.”—Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody Is Ever Missing
“A work of meticulous care and genuine candor . . . Khabushani is a poetic visionary, as generous as he is brave.”—Heidi Julavits, author of The Folded Clock
“Deeply moving and courageous . . . an intimate and unflinching story about the ways in which we hurt each other and how we all need love and acceptance to survive.”—Sahar Delijani, author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree
“Tender, heartbreaking . . . Khabushani is an incredibly talented writer.”—Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers
“I Will Greet the Sun Again glimmers with wisdom and beauty and pain . . . a book that feels as dark, as light, and as alive as youth itself.”—Aria Aber, author of Hard Damage