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Since then Iran has, of course, experienced an Islamic revolution and three decades of theocratic rule, and Mr. But one thing remains unchanged: Those in power in Iran continue to regard him and his work as subversive.

Dowlatabadi said, weighing his words carefully in an interview during a visit to New York this spring for the PEN World Voices Festival of international literature. The story unfolds on one rainy night as the colonel is trying to retrieve and bury the body of his youngest daughter, who has been tortured to death for handing out leaflets criticizing the new regime.

The novel was written in the early s, around the time of the events it describes, when prominent intellectuals were being executed, and Mr. Dowlatabadi was called in for questioning. They would have their ways. That was fine with me because I could start to write the other book, the three volumes.

Dowlatabadi said he finally submitted the manuscript three years ago to censors at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which must approve all books before publication in Iran, but received no response until Iranian readers heard about the book and began clamoring for access to it. Among Iranians Mr. Despite Mr. That rural realm is one that Mr. He was born into a family of farmers in Khorasan, an arid northeastern province bordering Afghanistan, and as a youngster worked in the fields alongside his father, also chopping wood and hauling melons to market.

Even then he was an avid reader, curious about the outside world. But he said he did not want to do that, preferring to adhere to legal channels, frustrating though that may be.

This has to be an established norm or practice in our country: that people who have different opinions can rationally disagree. Home Page World U.


Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi was born into a poor family of shoemakers in Dowlatabad, a remote village in Sabzevar , the northwestern part of Khorasan Province , Iran. Books were a revelation to the young boy. He "read all the romances [available] Though his father had little formal education, he introduced Dowlatabadi to the Persian classical poets, Saadi Shirazi , Hafez , and Ferdowsi.


Missing Soluch

Look Inside. Perhaps the most important work in modern Iranian literature, this starkly beautiful novel examines the trials of an impoverished woman and her children living in a remote village in Iran, after the unexplained disappearance of her husband, Soluch. Lyrical yet unsparing, the novel examines her life as she contends with the political corruption, authoritarianism, and poverty of the village. It follows her vacillations between love for Soluch and anger at his absence, and her struggle to raise her children without their father. The novel critically evokes the unfulfilled aspirations of modern Iran, portraying a society caught between a past and a future that seem equally weighed down by injustice. This landmark novel — the first ever written in the everyday language of the Iranian people — revolutionized Persian literature in its beautiful and daring portrayal of the life of a marginal woman and her struggle to survive.


The Colonel



The Colonel


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