With the 2017 Leapfrog Fiction Contest only five days away, it’s time to check in on last year’s winner, first-time novelist Katayoun Medhat. Medhat’s existentialist detective novel, The Quality of Mercy, is slated for publication this September.
Katayoun Medhat grew up in Iran in a multicultural household and experienced her first significant cultural shock in a convent boarding school in rural Germany. She studied Anthropology in Berlin and London and sampled various occupations in variable organisations. Working in an adolescent psychiatric unit she learnt much about individual resilience and the human capacity to temper adverse experiences with humor. She went on to train and practice as psychoanalytic intercultural psychotherapist, before going to the Navajo Nation for a PhD in Medical Anthropology.
In The Quality of Mercy, quixotic cop Franz Kafka’s small-town routine is disrupted by a mysterious death at Chimney Rock. Navajo cop Robbie Begay joins the murder investigation, which leads the mismatched duo across the reservation into the victim’s fraught past, to associates living under the shadow of heinous crimes, cunningly camouflaged meth-merchants and sweet-natured squash-growers. The killer, however, is much closer to home.
Good luck to all those planning to enter this year’s contest, and be sure to order a copy of The Quality of Mercy when it becomes available!