Shelves: fiction , literature , mideast , politics , true-crime , historical-novel This summer the Iranian government issued a postage stamp on the novelist Dowlatabadis 74th birthday commemorating his lifetime of work. Despite the regimes professed respect for the art of the novelist, Dowlatabadis The Colonel is still not published in his own country. It relates the story of a man, a military man of discipline and principles, who appears torn asunder by the change sweeping his country and his family in light of the revolution against the Shah which was the end of a 2,year history of monarchies. His wife is dead by his own hand for her adultery, and three of his children have been killed, two for their anti-Islamic tendencies, and one as a martyr for the cause of the new Islamic state under Khomeini.
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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.
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.
Chester Higgins Jr. 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.
An Iranian Storyteller’s Personal Revolution