Whether she’s writing fiction or sharing observations, Reza never forgoes the hammer-to-nail directness and clarity of playwriting, the form that propelled her to prominence. Even in this chronicle of her immersion in politics, the most verbose of realms, she does not lose her gifts for succinctness and sleight-of-hand irony. And, surely, only a French writer would create such a mischievous and pointillistic portrait of a man who would be president. Reza asked Nicolas Sarkozy if she could spend the year with him as he campaigned for France’s highest office, and right from the start, this pair—each glamorous, intense, and ambitious; each with origins elsewhere, hers in Iran, his in Hungary and Greece—circle each other like sparring partners, intimate in their adversity. Vigilant and droll, Reza waits patiently for glimpses into her subject’s soul, even as she wryly describes the rituals of campaign appearances, the boil of the press, and the jockeying of Sarkozy’s advisers. Elegantly philosophical and restrained, Reza’s mercifully apolitical political sketchbook records both transient moments and a timeless vision of human striving. --Donna Seaman
“[Reza is] a splendid observer-nothing gets by her.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Quite possibly the most innovative and startling report on a political campaign ever written.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Brilliantly evocative. . . . captivating. . . . A contemplation of a man struggling with the evanescence of time. This is the campaign trail as we have never seen it before.”
—Times Literary SupplementFrom the Trade Paperback edition.