Book Passage Presents
Wed., July 14, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online
In conversation with Fred Ritzenberg
“An Indian businessman working in Iran on the cusp of violent change is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in Misra’s thriller…as historically authentic as it is dramatically engrossing…A complex, moving, and edifying tale.”
As the chief financial officer of Iran Power, Indian expat Ayan Pathak enjoys the finer things in life: high-end clubs, skiing in the sacred and dramatic Alborz mountains, and languid weekends on the Caspian Sea with his beautiful girlfriend Gaby. She is an airline pilot who covertly sympathizes with radical leftists in her native Germany. The year is 1977 and the Iranian Revolution is about to overthrow the Shah’s pro-Western monarchy in favor of an Islamic theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
One evening, Ayan is approached by the CEO of his company who pressures him to help smuggle uranium for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.
From there, Ayan faces difficult decisions. Should he cooperate with his boss in exchange for riches beyond his imagination? Or should he refuse and risk everything, including his life? Despite his better intentions, Ayan is sucked into the quicksand of love, lies, political intrigue, and deadly consequences. Can he be saved before it’s too late?
As Ayan is struggling with his dilemma, the country is roiling under the pressure of impending change. Hamid, Ayan’s driver and friend, is a fervent supporter of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who would remake Iran in his own image. Gaby, against the politics of privilege, pressures Ayan to also challenge the status quo.
And always lurking is Colonel Heydar Hosseini, the poetry-loving SAVAK secret police officer assigned to monitor the goings on at Iran Power.
Labyrinth of the Wind is a suspenseful work of historical fiction, set in Tehran, Delhi, and several European hotspots. The novel focuses on choices and consequences during a time of political upheaval. The story follows the timeline of historical events that occurred from 1977 to 1978, when the author lived and worked in Iran as a senior executive for a multinational energy company.
Declassified documents confirm the Iranian government’s efforts at this time to procure uranium, and the United States’ concerns about the Shah’s interest in acquiring nuclear weapons.
The author evacuated from Tehran on Christmas Day 1978, shortly before the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty.
Madhav Misra grew up in India and graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and Columbia University, New York. He has lived and worked in London, Tehran, New York City, and San Francisco. He and his wife now divide their time between Marin, Maui, and the Himalayan foothills. Labyrinth of the Wind is his first novel.
Fred Ritzenberg is an award winning screenwriter and producer of films, including Zaytoun, runner-up for the People's Choice Award at TIFF. He's written screenplays for many top tier Hollywood producers. He currently teaches screenwriting and is Dean of the San Francisco Film School.