Author: Madhav Misra Category:

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“A tense, finely wrought, and superbly written story.” —Tom Parker, award-winning novelist.

As the chief financial officer of Iran Power, Indian expat Ayan Pathak enjoys the finer things in life—high-end clubs, skiing in the sacred and dramatic Alborz mountains, and languid weekends on the Caspian Sea with his beautiful girlfriend, an airline pilot who sympathizes with radical leftists in her native Germany. The year is 1977, a time just before the Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of Iran’s pro-Western monarchy in favor of an Islamic theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

 One evening, Ayan is approached by the CEO of his company, who pressures him to help smuggle uranium for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.

 From there, Ayan faces difficult decisions. Should he cooperate with his boss—in exchange for riches beyond his imagination? Or should he refuse and risk everything, including his life? Despite his better intentions, Ayan is sucked into the quicksand of love, lies, political intrigue, and deadly consequences. Can he be saved before it’s too late?

 Labyrinth of the Wind: A Novel of Love and Nuclear Secrets is a suspenseful work of historical fiction, set in Tehran, Delhi, and several European hotspots. The novel focuses on love and consequences at a time of political upheaval, when the author lived and worked in Iran. Declassified documents confirm the Iranian government’s efforts at this time to procure uranium. The author was evacuated from Tehran on Christmas Day 1978, shortly before the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty.

 As Ayan struggles with his dilemma, the strife of change in his adopted country roils around him. Hamid, Ayan’s driver and friend, is a fervent supporter of the ultrareligious Ayatollah Khomeini, who threatens to upend the cosmopolitan status quo. Gaby, Ayan’s girlfriend, pulls him in the opposite direction, dedicated to a different kind of revolution, against the politics of privilege. And always lurking is Colonel Heydar Hosseini, the poetry-loving SAVAK secret police officer assigned to monitor the goings-on at Iran Power.

Praise for Labyrinth of the Wind

“Misra’s tale is as historically authentic as it is dramatically engrossing, and he sensitively limns the complex contours of Iran at the time, describing it as a “country of hints and half-truths.” A complex, moving, and edifying tale.”—Kirkus Reviews


 ”Love, greed, fear, and intimidation; the Shah’s imperial dreams and fledgling nuclear ambitions; a young man’s aspirations and his lover’s risky left-wing politics; Tehran, Delhi, London, West Berlin, and Geneva; uranium yellowcake, revolution, blackmail, and torture; breathtaking landscapes and romantic interludes. They’re all here in this tense, finely wrought and superbly written story that guides us through the labyrinth and ultimately reveals the way out.” —Tom Parker, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of Anna, Ann, Annie, and Small Business, A Novel.

“This is a great read. At heart, it is a compelling story of love and international intrigue set in the context of the Iranian and German political and cultural revolutions of the 1970s. Even 50 years later, the same themes of nuclear weapons and profound cultural conflict are very much alive today. Misra’s exquisite cross-cultural sensitivity is matched with a deep feel for the intellectual, literary, and musical currents that set the tone for the global upheaval and youthful initiation of that soulful time.” —Thomas Singer, MD, author of Cultural Complexes and the Soul of America

“On the copyright page of this extraordinary first novel is the standard disclaimer that it is a work of fiction. Don’t fall for that. It is a work of fiction that tells a thousand truths, ones that only an insider like Misra could write. Revealing, beautifully told, historically fascinating.”— Gary Burke, former publisher at McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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