Everything Sad is Untrue: (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri
Like Scheherazade, Nayeri has a gift. He weaves a thousand and one tales into an opulent Persian tapestry: a story of mythology and memoir, of the mundane and the memorable. A story that is as true as what you see with your own eyes and as real as what you cannot see.
The saga begins: a ten-year-old Iranian refugee stands up in an Oklahoma schoolroom and tells classmates his story, his history.
There are so many things going on in this narrative. Several pages are devoted to considerations of poop. It should not be surprising. This is not some esoteric philosophical treatise, although there are ample references to God and religion, anxiety and resilience, dignity and prejudice. At its core, it is a story of basic human needs. It's a story of survival. Nayeri lays bare his heart, his devotion to his mother, his complicated relationship with his father. It’s a guidebook for navigating a strange western culture and for methodically escaping the cruelty of others. It’s all of it.