Viking has won the British auction for a sweeping epic début novel, dubbed the “Doctor Zhivago of Iran” by Margaret Atwood.
Publisher Mary Mount bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Nazanine Hozar’s Aria from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown.
The book begins in the 1950s, when an Iranian soldier walking through Tehran discovers an abandoned baby, which he names Aria. The novel tracks the child’s life up to the Iranian Revolution in 1978- 79. Mount called Aria a "deeply resonant, utterly compelling story of Iran for the 25 years leading up to the revolution. It is the story of a vulnerable young woman and the story of a country".
Hozar, who was born in Tehran during the revolution, moved with her family to Canada and completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Colombia.
Knopf Canada acquired Canadian rights, and the novel went to Editions Stock in France, Einaudi in Italy, Salamandra in Spain and Otava in Finland. A Dutch auction is ongoing.