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7th Sadegh Hedayat Literary Award


By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


The 7th Sadegh Hedayat Literary Awards which were organized by the Hedayat office took place last week at the house of Mr Jahangir and Shideh Hedayat in Tehran, in the presence of the gem of Iran's lady of letters Mrs. Simin Behbahani and members of the Hedayat family.


The Hedayat Award


Other well known faces included Mr Amirhassan Cheltan, Mr Khosrow Sinai, Ms Nahid Kabiri, Mr Cyrus Ebrahimzadeh, Mrs Saideh Ghods, Mr Tarif and the judges and winners of this year awards.  Mr Jahangir Hedayat has single handedly done more than anyone to promote, preserve and publish the work by his uncle.  Furthermore, through the Hedayat Office and website ( he has helped and guided researchers from across the globe with their questions about Sadegh Hedayat. Last but not least, despite all the hard work that it entails, he has successfully staged seven years of the Sadegh Hedayat Awards after the centenary of his birth.



Performers and judges




Mr Hedayat started the ceremony by welcoming the guests and informed all that he has written a humorous article to be published titled Owl of Garbage about his experiences in trying to find a place to stage the ceremony.  For the second year running it has had to be held in his private home.  He went to say that still all books by Hedayat are not granted permission for publication in Iran yet due to the demand one may find them on street stalls.  Sadegh Hedayat's old home is still is used as a storage place next to Amir Alam Hospital in Tehran.  He did have some good news which was that the Iranian Burnt Books Foundation has contacted him and offered to publish all of Hedayat's work abroad.  The work is in high demand inside and outside Iran and the first volume which consists of 42 short stories, including two stories that he had written in French and a few which have not been published before, is now available.  It can be ordered at  The next volume will be his satirical works which hopefully will be published in less than six months and then after that it will be his masterpiece the Blind Owl with an extra feature.  The Blind Owl was written by hand in India; there he had printed 50 copies of it which he sent to his friends.  A stenciled copy of his hand written work will be published in the 3rd volume.


Mrs. Simin Behbahani


Then Mr. Khosrow Sinai, the well known documentary film maker who has made a couple of films about Hedayat's life and work gave a talk about what had must have influenced the young, thirsty, intellectual, creative mind of Hedayat during his early years, ranging  from art to music to philosophy.


Hedayat Stories


After that we were delighted by the performance of Mr. Mohammad Farmanian who had beautifully put his satire "name and family" into a song which he masterfully and engagingly performed with his guitar as he sang the lyrics from his work.  Mr. Tarif the well known musician and singer delighted the audience with his voice and the last piece of entertainment was reading of Abji Khanoum (the sister) which was excellently performed by Ms. Nahid Kabiri and Mr. Hamed Seyyed. I was so moved by their work and easily was able to see all the characters and their feeling through their wonderful reading.


Mr Jahangir Hedayat, Head of Hedayat office


Mr. Hedayat then informed the audience that for the initial stage of the competition some 600 stories were received both from Iran and from Iranian writers residing abroad.  They were sent to Sadegh Hedayat and Sokhan websites and this year 70 percent of the writers were men and 30 percent women.  Some 60 percent of the themes of the stories were about social pains and life troubles and issues.  At the second stage of this year's award 81 stories were selected. The judges were Ms. Sepideh Shamlou, Dr Hormouz Rahimian and Mr. Hossein Ghadimi. The judges chose 30 stories for the semi final, out of which 10 reached the final.  Then we heard the judges statement and the winners received their awards from Mrs. Simin Behbahani.


Hedayat Family

Hedayat Family


The winner of the 7th Sadegh Hedayat Award for the best Short Story, who received the Hedayat statuette, was Mr. Gholamhossein Dehghan from Shiraz for his story titled Morde Keshi (corpse burial jobs).


Gholamhossein Dehghan, winner of  the short story award


The 3 runners up were:

Narges Roustami for her story titled Pir (Aged)

Shahla Shahabian for her story titled Dard (Pain)

Mohammad Mehdi Ebrahimi for Hoviate Majhoul (Identification Unknown)

Narges Roustami receives her certificate of merit plate from Mrs. Behbahani

Shahla Shahabian, after receiving her certificate of merit plate

Mohammad Mehdi Ebrahimi, after receiving his certificate of merit plate

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