Book club home Forthcoming books Previous books Frequently Asked Questions Finding books Contact us
The Connect Book Club
Book for June 2012
Group 1
The House of the Mosque
The House of the Mosque
by Kader Abdolah

The House of the Mosque (Dutch: Het huis van de moskee) is a Dutch-language novel by Iranian writer Kader Abdolah, published in 2005. The book follows the life of an Iranian family during the regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi, through the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the installment of the Khomeini government, and ends after Khomeini's death. The English language translation of The House of the Mosque was published in January 2010.

The House of the Mosque primary explores how the Iranian people coped with second half 20th century American influence over Iran. Additionally, the book portrays struggles between the leaders of the bazaar and the religious rule of the imams -- and between parents and their children who are caught up in revolutionary ideas and do not follow the old rules of the house.

Kader Abdolah presents ideas in a manner that can be easily understood by European people. Islamic principles are explained, and references to the Qur'an illustrate that it is not just a religious masterpiece but also provides a model for thinking and living in society. The novel depicts the prophet Muhammad as a "a Mohammed that Europe needs" (to change common European perceptions of Islam)

One of the characters in The House of the Mosque, Shabbal, resembles the author, who participated in underground political movements in the time of the Shah and later under Khomeini, and is also now living far away from Iran, in the Netherlands.

About the Author

Kader Abdolah
is a Persian-Dutch writer, poet and columnist. He has written books and many articles in Dutch and is known for using Persian literary items in his Dutch works. He regularly appears on Dutch TV channels as well.

Kader Abdollah is the pen name of Hossein Sadjadi Ghaemmaghami Farahani (Persian: حسین سجادی قائم‌مقامی فراهانی).
Kader Abdolah studied physics in Teheran. He joined the left-wing movement opposing the Shah – and later the Khomeini – regimes. He fled to the Netherlands as a political refugee in 1988. In 2006 he was writer in residence at Leiden University. Today he lives in Delft, writing under a pseudonym composed of the names of two executed friends.