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(the following are linked to more information on each title)

Persian Fiction in English


Mage has published in English two of the greatest classic Persian novels of all time: Savushun by Simin Daneshvar and My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad. Mage’s fiction collection also includes Stories from Iran, which features the work of the best Iranian writers, amongst them: M. A. Jamalzadeh, Sadeq Hedayat, Bozorg Alavi, Beh'azin, Sadeq Chubak, Ebrahim Golestan, Jalal al-e Ahmad, Ahmad Mahmud, Jamal Mir-Sadeqi, Gholam Hosayn Nazari, Esma'il Fasih, Gholam Hosayn Sa'edi, Nader Ebrahimi, Bahram Sadeqi, Hushang Golshiri, Fereydun Tonokaboni, Goli Taraqqi, Mahshid Amir-Shahi, Mahmud Dowlatabadi, Shahrnush Parsipur, Moniru Ravanipur. Stories from Iran, written during the last 75 years and arranged in chronological order, spans a period in Iranian history from the Constitutional Revolution (1906-11) through the long reign of the Pahlavis (1925-79), the upheavals of the 1950s, the 1979 Islamic Revolution, to the present.

Among contemporary writers of Iran one woman stands out: Simin Daneshvar. Her novel Savushun chronicles the life of a Persian family during the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II. It is set in Shiraz, a town which evokes images of Persepolis and pre-Islamic monuments, the great poets, the shrines, Sufis, and nomadic tribes. Mage has also published two collections of short fiction by Simin Daneshvar: Daneshvar’s Playhouse and Sutra and other Stories. These stories not only portray, with incomparable perception, humor, and compassion, women from the various strata of Iranian society, but they also capture the essence of a rich traditional culture undergoing change. Daneshvar draws from over a thousand years of Persian storytelling tradition and combines this with modern techniques of short fiction and cinema.

My Uncle Napoleon By Iraj Pezeshkzad and translated by Dick Davis, set in a garden in Tehran in the early 1940s is a rich, comic and brilliantly on-target send-up of Iranian society. The novel is, at its core, a love story.

King of the Benighted was mailed out of Iran page by page. It is both a firsthand account of the hard realities of life under the Islamic Republic and a literary masterpiece by one of Iran's best contemporary writers, Houshang Golshiri, who wrote under the pen name Manuchehr Irani to protect his identity. Golshiri has creatively combined modern techniques of fiction with the rich tradition of Persian poetry to tell a timeless tale.King of the Benighted was translated by Abbas Milani, who went on to write the bestselling biography of Amir Abbas Hoveyda, The Persian Sphinx.

Terence O'Donnell lived in Iran from 1957-71 operating a farm from 1963-70 before returning to America, where he wrote Garden of the Brave in War, a memoir praised by critics as "a gem" and "a literary classic on a level with Out of Africa." Seven Shades of Memory is his first collection of short stories. The stories share the theme of cultural collision, either as East meets West, or as members of different cultures within Iran tentatively interact. These stories show his prescient understanding of the multifaceted nuances of Persian culture and the Westerners who attempt to navigate through it.