Ann Marlowe


A sexy, intimate and fearless account of a shattering love affair between a charistmatic Afghan man and a Jewish American writer infatuated with his culture, The Book of Trouble is also a provocative and original exploration of the so-called “clash of civilizations.” Marlowe’s vivid, gritty evocation of daily life in Afghanistan brings to life a luminous place she thinks of as “the morning of the world”. She finds a similar re-discovery of feeling when she is in bed with Amir, “the gift of loving someone, which is incalculable”–but also, ultimately, a “terrible gap between hearts.”

Marlowe finds complexity and beauty in Afghanistan, not the caricature of evil men and oppressed women. In fact, she found much that Americans can learn from in the warmth, tenderness and respect of Afghan family life and marriage. As Marlowe travels from Mazar-i-Sherif to her sophisticated, cynical New York world and then to Baghdad in the aftermath of the American invasion, she makes perhaps her most provocative claim: that we Americans, for all our self-help books, have forgotten how to take love and sex seriously.

Rights: Harcourt, North America; Byblos, Holland; Aletheia, Portugal


In this hypnotic and piercingly intelligent chronicle, Ann Marlowe dissects her former heroin habit, and recounts in harrowing detail the rigors and realities of life under the influence while building a successful Wall Street career and establishing a reputation as a critic in the alternative press. A one-time Harvard grad student in philosophy, Marlowe ruthlessly examines the paradoxical nature of addiction, and connects her own experience to a wider discussion of heroin in the context of our post-consumer, digital society.

Rights: Basic Books, North America; Virago, U.K.; Auf Bau, Germany; Anagrama, Spain; Film rights optioned by director Robert Berlinger