Abandon by Pico Iyer
A Romance

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Pico Iyer’s intoxicating new novel is at once a stylish intellectual mystery and a pulse-quickening love story—the love in question being at once sacred and profane.

John Macmillan, a classically reticent Englishman who has moved to California to study the poems of the Sufi mystic Rumi, unexpectedly becomes involved in two equally absorbing quests. The first is for a mysterious Rumi manuscript that may have been smuggled out of Iran; the second for the elusive Camilla Jensen, who continually offers herself to him only to repeatedly slip from his grasp. Are these quests somehow related? And can Macmillan give himself over to them without losing his career and identity?

Moving deftly from California academia to the mosques of Iran, filled with insights into the minds of Islam and the modern West, Abandon is a magic carpet-ride of a book.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Pico Iyer

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Pico Iyer has written nonfiction books on globalism, Japan, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and forgotten places, and novels on Revolutionary Cuba and Islamic mysticism. He regularly writes on literature for The New York Review of Books, on travel for the Financial Times, and on global culture and the news for Time, The New York Times, and magazines around the world.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 368 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Abandon

Kirkus Reviews

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Overall, though, the desert-meandering narrative loses momentum as Macmillan puzzles over Camilla’s erratic behavior (she’s fond of making love in abandoned houses, then vanishing), a problem that Iyer hastily remedies by sending Macmillan off to India or England to meet shadowy characters who ma...

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Publishers Weekly

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Framed by the conflict between Islamic and secular Western values, this novel from travel writer, critic and novelist Iyer (Cuba and the Night;

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Entertainment Weekly

Santa Barbara graduate student John Macmillan is feverishly toiling over his dissertation on Sufi poetry when a mysterious package he collected on a research trip to Damascus leads to a meeting with a fragile woman named Camilla.

Feb 14 2003 | Read Full Review of Abandon: A Romance

Deseret News

Besides the growing relationship between Macmillan and Camilla, punctuated by their recurring conflicts, the story focuses on the increasing interaction between Iran and California — including Iranian immigrants and scholars who study the Iranian culture.

Feb 23 2003 | Read Full Review of Abandon: A Romance

Spirituality & Practice

The surprising and very satisfying developments in the last stretch of the novel bring John and Camilla to Iran for some mystical moments that open them up to the true marvels of a different kind of abandonment.

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India Today

In spite of 9/11, or may be because of it, the bestselling poet in America today is Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic, all love and ecstasy - paperback therapy at the nearest bookstall.

Apr 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Abandon: A Romance

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