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05/02/11

Book: The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

Author: by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi; Translated from Persian
Published by Haus Publishing


The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

1906598894

1st July 2011
£9.99 paperback 243pp ISBN 9781906598891

“a strong and irresistible window into Iran” - DIE ZEIT

Shortlisted for the International Literary Award 2009 of Haus der Kulturen Berlin

A pitch black, rainy night in a small Iranian town. Inside his house the Colonel is immersed in thought. Memories are storming in. Memories of his wife. Memories of the great patriots of the past, all of them assassinated or executed. Memories of his children, who had joined the different factions of the 1979 revolution. There is a knock on the door. Two young policemen have come to summon the Colonel to collect the tortured body of his youngest daughter and bury her before sunrise. The Islamic Revolution, like every other revolution in history, is devouring its own children. And whose fault is that? This shocking diatribe against the failures of the Iranian left over the last fifty years does not leave one taboo unbroken.

Mahmoud Dowlatadabdi was born in 1940 in a small village in the Iranian province of Khorasan, as the son of a shoemaker who was a great lover of classic Persian literature. Self-educated and forced to work from childhood, he went to Tehran where he became an actor for stage and film. In 1975 he was arrested on stage and imprisoned for two years. Mahmud Dowlatabadi started writing in the 60s and has published several novels, short story collections, novellas and theatre plays. Dowlatabadi is one of the first Iranian writers of fiction to support himself primarily by writing. Still victim to official censorship, he is currently waiting for the license to print the final volume of his trilogy The Lives of the Old. The Colonel was banned by the regime in Iran, and first published in Germany. Dowlatabadi and his family live in Tehran, where he is also a lecturer in modern Persian literature at the university.

“A fascinating testimony of the helplessness, delusion and despair of two Iranian generations...” -FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND

*** Recommended by PEN ***

Haus Publishing
bookHaus, 70 Cadogan Place, London SW1X 9AH

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