2012 nonfiction finalist

Arion Golmakani | Solacers


About the author
Arion Golmakani is an American author of Iranian origin. He was born in Tehran, Iran and migrated to the United States in spring of 1974 at the age of 17. Arion was educated at College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, where he received a degree in fine arts, specializing in radio and television. He lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, for most of his adult life until his employment with Circuit City Stores took him to Virginia where he now resides.

About the book

Solacers tells the touching story of a 5-year old child's search for family life and safety following the divorce of his parents in Iran during the 1960's. The first child of a heartless father and a discarded mother is left to fend for himself on the streets of Mashhad, seeking food and shelter wherever he can. His lonely early years are an unbelievable tale of cruelty and betrayal on the part of nearly everyone who might be expected to help, save for one aunt who does her best to keep him from starving.

But living a harsh and solitary existence has one advantage for this little boy: other than forcing him to be self-reliant, no one attempts to indoctrinate him on rural Iranian society's archaic cultural values and religious beliefs. And so he never accepts his wretched state as fate, choosing instead to dream big dreams about getting an education, having his own family, and starting a new life—possibly in the faraway land called America. He makes a plan and by the age of 17 he boards a plane to the land of possibilities, where his dreams eventually also take flight.

Critics / Reviews
“A story of hope, determination, and forgiveness, Solacers is a remarkable tale of resilience and optimism, with lessons for us all. Golmakani gives voice to children everywhere who long for nurturing and hunger for security.”  — Hans J. Massaquoi, retired managing editor of Ebony Magazine and the author of best-selling book, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany.

Solacers is one of the most captivating and interesting books I have ever read. It is touchingly and sensitively written with pathos and intellect.”  — Robert DaCosta, Retired Editor-in-Chief Defense Science Magazines