Virginie Page, who writes travel stories, unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a major conflict that will leave its mark on the coming decades. In the summer of 1990, as she is just about to meet Saddam Hussein, she learns that the Iraqi dictator is preparing to invade Kuwait. As part of the interviews she is conducting for her book on Islam in Arab states, Virginie meets the Emir of Osmani, Khaled Hourani, who is a rather extraordinary character.
To the thunder of Saddam’s tanks and the American planes, a powerful and unshakeable bond of love develops between them. They are both conscious of the major challenges of their era and although they have passionate discussions of the crucial place they occupy in each other’s lives, they also talk about radical Islam and how it has turned the clash of civilisations into a reality and made our world altogether more terrifying.
Born in Iran, the Franco-American, Saïdeh Pakravan is a writer of fiction, a poet, an essayist and a film critic. After dividing her time between France and the United States for thirty years, she finally settled down in Paris in 2016. She came to the attention of the French public in 2015 with her first novel Azadi, which won the Prix de la Closerie des Lilas and the Prix Marie-Claire. Following on from La Trêve (2016) and Le Principe du désir (2017), L’Émir is her fourth novel.