News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 28, 2021
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Rising Lit Star in Dumbo

By Alexandra Glorioso
Jonas Hassen Khemiri: Peace & Love 2010
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Sun., Feb. 20, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Up-and-coming Swedish novelist Jonas Hassen Khemiri presents his newest novel, Montecore, at The powerHouse Arena. As an added bonus, actors from the Play Company will kick things off with a short scene from his play INVASION!, which begins previews February 9.

Drinks will be served.

About Montecore:
At the start of this dazzlingly inventive novel from Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Abbas, a world-famous photographer and estranged father to a young novelist—also named Jonas Hassen Khemiri—is standing on a luxurious rooftop terrace in New York City. He is surrounded by rock stars, intellectuals, and political luminaries gathered to toast his 50th birthday. And yet how did Abbas, a dirt-poor Tunisian orphan and Swedish émigré, come to enjoy such success?

Jonas is fresh off the publication of his first novel when answers to this question come in the form of an unexpected e-mail from Kadir, a lifelong friend of Abbas and an effervescent storyteller with delightfully anarchic linguistic idiosyncrasies. The portrait Kadir paints of Abbas—from a voluntarily mute boy who suffers constant night terrors, to a soulful young charmer, to a Swedish immigrant and political exile—proves to be vastly different from Jonas’s view of his father. As the two jagged versions reconcile in Kadir and Jonas’s impassioned correspondence, we’re given a portrayal of a man that is at once tender and feverishly imagined.

With an arresting blend of humor and wit, Montecore marks the stateside arrival of an already acclaimed international novelist. Winner of the PO Enquist Literary Prize for accomplished European novelists under forty, Jonas Hassen Khemiri has created a world that is as heartbreaking as it is exhilarating.

Abulkasem–a name that just might have magical powers. Everyone wants that name, but who is Abulkasem? A cute guy I met at the corner bar. A hero in a fairy tale. A world-renowned stage director. A shadowy figure we’re tracking across the globe. All of the above? Who is Abulkasem? And how many are there? Francis Benhamou, Andrew Guilarte, Bobby Moreno, Debargo Sanyal star in the US premiere of INVASION! Go to for ticketing information.

About the author:
Jonas Hassen Khemiri, born in Sweden in 1978, is the author of two novels and one collection of plays and short stories. His first novel, One Eye Red, received the Boras Tidning award for best literary debut. His second novel, Montecore, won several literary awards including the Swedish Radio Award for best novel of the year. Khemiri has also received the PO Enquist Literary Prize for the most promising young European writer. He currently divides his time between Stockholm and Berlin.

The powerHouse Arena

37 Main Street


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