Call Me Zebra
A feisty heroine’s quest to reclaim her past through the power of literature—even as she navigates the murkier mysteries of love.   Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came, her family didn’t fight; they took refuge in books. Now alone and in exile, Zebra leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago.   Books are Zebra’s only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic; their time together fraught. Zebra overwhelms him with her complex literary theories, her concern with death, and her obsession with history. He thinks she’s unhinged; she thinks he’s pedantic. Neither are wrong; neither can let the other go. They push and pull their way across the Mediterranean, wondering with each turn if their love, or lust, can free Zebra from her past.

Call Me Zebra Details

TitleCall Me Zebra
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-139780544944602
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Novels, Adult Fiction, Literature, Writing, Books About Books

Call Me Zebra Review

  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    January 1, 1970
    Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a novel from this award winning author. This is the author’s second novel.Zebra is a 22 year old woman, born in Iran to a family who took refuge in literature from the violent present of their time. Zebra is the last of the family which describes itself as “Autodidacts, Anarchists, Atheists”, and feels responsible to hold up the family’s literary torch.After the death of her father, Zebra decides to retrace some of the places the family has been e Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a novel from this award winning author. This is the author’s second novel.Zebra is a 22 year old woman, born in Iran to a family who took refuge in literature from the violent present of their time. Zebra is the last of the family which describes itself as “Autodidacts, Anarchists, Atheists”, and feels responsible to hold up the family’s literary torch.After the death of her father, Zebra decides to retrace some of the places the family has been exiled to. She meets Ludo, a famous Spanish author, also displaced, and the two find a physical and intellectual attraction to one another.I have no idea why I chose to read this novel, I don’t like stream of consciousness narrative mode, and I have very little interest in the troubled minds of 22 year old women. That being said, I found Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi difficult to put down.Almost like watching a train wreck happening and you can’t look away.This is a sharp, yet bizarre and demented story. The protagonist is so self-absorbed in her own journey, literature and ancestors that it’s almost laughable. She expects that any moment the rest of the world would embrace her vision of reality and the “truth”.I did enjoy the homages to some of my favorite writers, and some which I appreciate but will probably never read. The dead writers are very real to Zebra, real as any other person who spews wisdom and advice at you.I felt that the author took a wicked pleasure in trying to challenge her audience combining geopolitics with literature.And she’s laughing all the way to the end.Some of the book felt like it had to be read out loud. I loved how lyrical it was, every sentence was structured to be said, not read. It’s not an easy book to skim, as this novel has to be read slowly and deliberately.For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com
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  • Helen Marquis
    January 1, 1970
    At the heart of "Call Me Zebra" is a heart-breaking story of a young Iranian girl, who flees her war-torn country with her parents, losing her mother en route. She settles in New York with her father, but when he also passes, she decides to head on a reverse pilgrimage, retracing the path via which she and her father escaped to their new life all those years ago. She returns to Barcelona, and gets involved in a pretty toxic relationship with a guy called Ludo.Her luggage consists mostly of her f At the heart of "Call Me Zebra" is a heart-breaking story of a young Iranian girl, who flees her war-torn country with her parents, losing her mother en route. She settles in New York with her father, but when he also passes, she decides to head on a reverse pilgrimage, retracing the path via which she and her father escaped to their new life all those years ago. She returns to Barcelona, and gets involved in a pretty toxic relationship with a guy called Ludo.Her luggage consists mostly of her family treasures, but she carries with her the spirits of her parents and a family love of literature. Oh, and a 100mph stream of consciousness way of telling her story. It's this final point that makes this a challenging read. While Zebra's story is the fascinating tale of a young refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of war, the writing style of this novel detracts from the tale at its heart.Zebra's love of literature means her voice often borders on the extremely pretentious, which can be alienating as you try to keep up with her. And while she may couch the horrors of reality in overly verbose and florid descriptions to lessen their impact on her psyche, as a reading experience it's not the most user-friendly.An interesting book with a truly unique style, sadly it wasn't one that gelled with me.
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing me with an early review copy of this book.Gosh, this just wasn't the right book for me. I tried to get into it but quit before I finished. Zebra is a young woman who, with her father, fled Iran, traveled through many places before landing in New York. Now Zebra's father has died, and she begins a journey towards the home she was exiled from.Zebra and her father are both scholars and come from a long line of learned men. There was Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing me with an early review copy of this book.Gosh, this just wasn't the right book for me. I tried to get into it but quit before I finished. Zebra is a young woman who, with her father, fled Iran, traveled through many places before landing in New York. Now Zebra's father has died, and she begins a journey towards the home she was exiled from.Zebra and her father are both scholars and come from a long line of learned men. There was a lot of mention of books, authors, and quoted passages. Normally I love that in a book, but it didn't work for me here. This book will not be one that is breezed through quickly. It demands focus and careful reading. But frankly, a lot of Zebra's narration was over my head. I was very lost in this story, and didn't enjoy the ramblings of what seemed to be an unstable narrator.
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    Kirkus
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