“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” published in Persian

March 7, 2022 - 18:39

TEHRAN – “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by American writer Robin Sloan has been published in Persian.

Published by Hirmand, the 2012 novel has been translated by Seyyed Saeid Kalati. 

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. 

The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. 

Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” combines elements of fantasy, mystery, friendship and adventure as a way of looking at the modern conflict and transition between new technology (electronic) and old (print books). 

The protagonist is a laid-off Silicon Valley tech worker who begins working at a dusty bookstore with very few customers, only to start discovering one secret after another. The mysterious old books, along with the store’s owner, lead to a 500-year-old secret society.

Photo: A copy of the Persian edition of Robin Sloan’s novel “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore”.


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