The often hazy line of demarcation between all of nature’s twins—two human beings held apart and together by genetic and emotional forces, two memories held apart and together by those who share them, even two forms of writing, the deeply factual and lyrically beautiful—is impressively traced in Pedram Navab’s stunner of a book. Equally at home in the medical and literary fields, this book is truly a singular vision, a haunting elegy for sisters lost in their own twinned ways, and is not to be missed. Beautifully rendered, this one will stay with you long after the last page turns.
author of The Luminist and The Night Language
An evocative and unsettling novel that unspools in fragments and multiple narratives as surreal as Edgar Alan Poe and as sobering as an Emergency Room at midnight (and vice versa), this is a wondrous puzzle of a book that’ll shake your snowglobe.
Mark Haskell Smith, author of Blown
Suitably set in H. P. Lovecraft's hometown, The Claw of the Magnolia is more than a carefully-plotted tale of suspense. Inside its charnel houses, beyond the secrets shared by twins, the mysteries of practicing medicine and the rituals that circumscribe the observance of seemingly opposing religions, Pedram Navab's chilling novel is an investigation into the liminal space between memory and imagination. As the characters are plunged deeper into their pasts to find that elusive understanding of the present, they discover, as will readers, how delicate the boundaries are between angels and demons, escape and erasure, and mercy killing and murder.
Jane Rosenberg LaForge,
author of Sisterhood of the Infamous
The Claw of the Magnolia is both profound and wickedly entertaining, filled with mesmerizing doubles (including twin sisters), ghosts, monsters, and mysteries winding through worlds seen and unseen. You'll find yourself torn between wanting to rip through a plot that’s twisty as a thriller and yearning to linger in its philosophical mazes.
Dawn Raffel, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney
Pedram Navab’s The Claw of the Magnolia is a novel of intrigue that will affect a reader. It is a highly creative and devilishly plotted tale of fate, filial and sisterly love, impossible yearnings, suicides, and the space between life and death. The dance of surprises and secrets, the surreal angst, and the macabre underlining will unsettle the reader’s consistency of tastes, values, and memories, bringing them to a Barthesian blissful crisis. In the words of Kafka, this book is like “an axe for the frozen sea within us.” It is because of books like The Claw of the Magnolia that meaningful literature remains alive.
author of The Striped Tunic Trilogy and Touch That Which You Cannot Possess
Far more than a medical mystery, The Claw of the Magnolia erupts as a gothic tale of ghosts and lost manuscripts, madness and disease, and a cast of distinctive characters linked across time and place. With a phantastic imagination tempered by fascinating research, author Pedram Navab once again creates a dizzying world of spiritual mist, physical matter, and psychological horror. Diabolically entertaining!
Debra Di Blasi, author of Birth of Eros and Selling the Farm
Pedram Navab’s The Claw of the Magnolia compellingly fuses multiple genres of fiction (mystery, historical, supernatural, epistolary, diaristic, etc.) within a Nabokovian meta-fictive frame. Traversing time and space, engaging a host of ghosts, the novel brims with intertextual references (Plath, Benjamin, Lovecraft, Poe, Wilde, Stevenson, Sartre, Keats, Kant, Bergson, Highsmith, etc.), Navab deftly engaging philosophy, neuroscience, memory, history, desire, loss, and grief. In short, Navab’s The Claw of the Magnolia is an elusive, allusive combination puzzle memento mori.
author of Nervosities and Among the Dynamos
Pedram Navab is a neurologist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine who currently resides in Los Angeles. Educated at Stanford and Brown, he also holds a graduate degree in English and a J.D. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for a stand-alone excerpt of Without Anesthesia, his debut novel.