Call Me Zebra

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 6, 2018 - Fiction - 304 pages
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Winner of the John Gardner Award for Fiction

“Hearken ye fellow misfits, migrants, outcasts, squint-eyed bibliophiles, library-haunters and book stall-stalkers: Here is a novel for you.”
Wall Street Journal

“A tragicomic picaresque whose fervid logic and cerebral whimsy recall the work of Bolaño and Borges.”New York Times Book Review

Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award * An Amazon Best Book of the Year * A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Named a Best Book by: Entertainment Weekly, Harper's Bazaar, Boston Globe, Fodor's, Fast Company, Refinery29,Nylon, Los Angeles Review of Books, Book Riot, The Millions, Electric Literature, Bitch, Hello Giggles, Literary Hub, Shondaland, Bustle, Brit & Co., Vol. 1 Brooklyn,Read It Forward,Entropy Magazine,Chicago Review of Books, iBooks and Publishers Weekly

Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. Alone and in exile, she leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago. Books are her only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic, and fraught. They push and pull across the Mediterranean, wondering if their love—or lust—can free Zebra from her past. Starring a heroine as quirky as Don Quixote, as brilliant as Virginia Woolf, as worldly as Miranda July, and as spirited as Lady Bird, Call Me Zebra is “hilarious and poignant, painting a magnetic portrait of a young woman you can’t help but want to know more about” (Harper’s Bazaar).

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - booklove2 -

Zebra is taught to memorize books from an early age, when she is born in a library in Iran. Zebra goes through a lot, that is mostly alluded to, when she has to walk to the border to get out of Iran ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kayanelson -

2019 TOB--This book was not for me. I probably wouldn't have finished it if it hadn't been in the TOB. I read a blurb from the author in which she says she hopes people laugh when they read this book ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Story of My Fathers Death and Burial and the Consequent Formation of My Multiple Irregular Minds
The Story of How I Leapt into the Void of Exile and Became Entangled with Ludo Bembo the Embalmer of Words
The Story of the Creation of the Miniature Museum and My Cohabitation with Ludo Bembo
The Story of How I Oxygenated My Multiple Minds in the Verdant Valley of the Pyrenees and Engaged in a Socratic Dialogue with Nature
The Story of How I Traveled Across the Corridors of Exile in the Company of the Pilgrims of the Void
The Story of How I Traveled Across the Sea of Sunken Hopes
Back Flap
Back Cover

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2018)

AZAREEN VAN DER VLIET OLOOMI is the author of two books. She was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and is the recipient of a Whiting Award. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, Guernica, BOMB, and other places.

Bibliographic information