contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


5220 Dexter Ann Arbor Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI, 48103
United States

Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Currency, by Zoe Zolbrod

Our Books

Currency, by Zoe Zolbrod


Currency, by Zoe Zolbrod


Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN: 978-0-982520-43-7
Trim: 8.8 x 5.9

Add To Cart


Piv and Robin are not such an unlikely match. Piv, a small-time hustler in Thailand, and Robin, a twenty-something backpacker from the United States, have always dreamed big dreams. What begins as a traveler's affair in Sukhothai quickly intensifies, and the young lovers envision an idyllic future together, traveling the world. Their plans are thwarted in Bangkok, however, when Robin runs out of money, her credit is denied, and she may have to leave Asia and Piv behind. Desperate, Piv turns to Abu, a charismatic businessman acquaintance, for help. Thus begins Piv and Robin's foray into exotic animal smuggling. Soon they find themselves amid an international crime ring that may have even darker underworld ties stretching from Kenya to Russia. Under the scrutiny of the traffickers who employ them, with investigators hot on t heir trail and idealistic dreams unraveling fast, Piv and Robin  must face the consequences of their individual struggles for identity, as well as the cost of their mutual desires.


"Currency is an absorbing story of love and betrayal set in Southeast Asia, a thriller of trafficing bodies--both human and beast--across international lines, and a perceptive foray into the dark powers beyond our control. It is a story that asks questions about home and happiness, while deftly taking us into a society's underworld where ethics are eclipsed by desperation, lust, and greed."  —Shipa Agarwal, author of Haunting Bombay

"From the first page to the last, Zoe Zolbrod's Currency had me hooked. I loved the boldness of the voice, the visceral and intoxicating landscape, the engrossing and masterfully woven story. Currency is a thrilling and unforgettable debut, and Zolbrod is a brilliant new voice that is sure to be with us for many years to come."  —Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us 


"Zoe Zolbrod’s debut novel is a fantastic, sensual romp through Southeast Asia. It is a novel of naïve ambition and desire. We get Piv: the street-hustling, smooth-talking Thai tourist guide who dreams of starting his own import/export business. There’s Robin Miatta, an American backpacking through Asia, maxing her credit cards, unwilling to go home, searching for meaning in her own life. Falling for each other, the two take advantage of lucrative opportunities with Abu and Volcheck, both Black Market dealers of endangered animals and artifacts. What follows is a tour de force portrayal by a serious author of the realities of modern-day smuggling and those involved in these activities. Currency not only succeeds in its scope and in-depth research, but also in its fluid, energetic, and intriguing prose." —NewPages

"Zoe Zolbrod's debut novel alternates between Piv's perspective and that of Robin, a young American itinerant who can't bring herself to leave Thailand even though she's long since run out of money. When the two meet and decide to go into business together, buying jewelry in Indonesia and reselling it in Thailand, it briefly seems plausible that both their business and their budding relationship will work." —Chicago Reader

"As a first novel, this book truly is amazing... [Zolbrod] gets under the skin of both the main characters–a backpacking American girl who has maxed out her credit cards, and a handsome Thai man who has learned to make a living off farang girls. What results is a love story that helps drive the thriller plot as the couples’ desire for some currency drives them deeper and deeper into harm’s way." —A Traveler's Library