"Lyrical, shrewd, and daring novelist Nahai...writes with acute emotional and nearly anthropological perception, laser-wit, and deep compassion....With touches of magic realism, extraordinary characters, and a spiraling, multigenerational plot involving fraud, a murder mystery, epic suffering, heroic generosity, women's struggle for freedom, and the clash between East and West, Nahai's mythic, tragic, often beautiful immigrant family saga illuminates timeless questions of prejudice, trauma, inheritance, loyalty, and love."
--"Booklist," Starred review
"A riveting tale....Readers will be well rewarded."
--"Publishers Weekly," Starred review
"One of Nahai's gifts is her astute observation of this community, her own, which she describes with unsparing precision."
--"Los Angeles Review of Books"
"Simultaneously ironic, dramatic, and witty."
"An energetically inventive epic...Nahai's boisterous, sardonic, sometimes-lurid portrait of a community and the devil in its midst offers unusual, engrossing storytelling."
One of "Jewish Journal"'s Noteworthy Books for the New Year
One of "Jewish Woman Magazine"'s 8 Great Fall Reads
One of "Publishers Weekly"'s Big Indie Books of Fall 2014
One of "Library Journal"'s 25 Key Indie Fiction Titles for Fall 2014-Winter 2015
"Orange Prize and IMPAC Award finalist Nahai ("Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith") returns after seven years with a distinctive look at Iranian Jewish life in America, featuring a Los Angeles-based family hounded for decades by an unprincipled financier from their own community. His disappearance upends everything."
--"Library Journal" Prepub Alert
Included in "Library Journal"'s "Books That Buzzed at BEA" Roundup, the first word on titles and trends from Barbara Hoffert, Editor
"With "The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.," Orange Prize and IMPAC Award finalist Gina B. Nahai returns after seven years with another novel of bristly beauty, offering a distinctive look at Iranian Jewish life in America."
--"Library Journal," Books for the Masses/Editors' Picks BEA 2014
"Gina B. Nahai has written a brilliant, funny, poignant, and thrilling novel about an Iranian Jewish family's struggle to find its identity in exile in America. Part murder mystery, part comic novel, "The Luminous Heart of Jonah S." is a book you will not be able to put down."
--Reza Aslan, author of "Zealot" and "No god but God"
"Gina B. Nahai uses her gift for storytelling to add to the pantheon of American immigrant tales, but this time with an Iranian Jewish twist. This novel not only entertains, but asks the bigger question: do immigrants reinvent themselves in America or simply live out their destinies?"
--Firoozeh Dumas, author of "Funny in Farsi"
From Tehran to Los Angeles, "The Luminous Heart of Jonah S." is a sweeping saga that tells the story of the Soleymans, an Iranian Jewish family tormented for decades by Raphael's Son, a crafty and unscrupulous financier who has futilely claimed to be an heir to the family's fortune. Forty years later in contemporary Los Angeles, Raphael's Son has nearly achieved his goal--until he suddenly disappears, presumed by many to have been murdered. The possible suspects are legion: his long-suffering wife; numerous members of the Soleyman clan exacting revenge; the scores of investors he bankrupted in a Ponzi scheme; or perhaps even his disgruntled bookkeeper and longtime confidant.
Award-winning novelist Gina B. Nahai pulls back the curtain on a close-knit community that survived centuries of persecution in Iran before settling and thriving in the United States, but now finds itself divided to the core by one of its own members. By turns hilarious and affecting, "The Luminous Heart of Jonah S." examines the eternal bonds of family and community, and the lasting scars of exile.