by Susan Harris
Négar Djavadi’s wonderfully titled novel Désorientale tracks the life of a woman who flees her native Iran for France as a teenager in 1981. In the extract in this month’s issue, the recently arrived Kimiâ struggles to adjust to her new life as an immigrant in Paris. She finds a home, and a community, in the Parisian punk scene, connecting with both the music and the nonjudgmental culture: “No one asks me where I’m from. No one cares.” The musicians she lists may trigger a twinge of nostalgia (if not nausea) in some readers and leave others drawing a blank. Kimiâ mentions performers but not titles, so we can only speculate about the soundtrack of those sweaty dark nights; but in the spirit of discovery and community, we offer this playlist, spun for you by your DJs at WWB.
Disoriental is forthcoming from Europa in Spring 2018.