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A City under Siege: Tales of the Iran-Iraq War.

Translated from the Persian by Paul Sprachman
Quick Overview

This collection of stories from the Iran-Iraq War is the second work by Habib Ahmadzadeh to appear in English translation. The first was the novel "Chess with the Doomsday Machine" (Mazda, 2008). The nine stories in the collection, which was compiled between 1988 and 2010, are about various aspects of the Iran-Iraq War and its aftermath.

A young sniper contemplates the death of his Iraqi prey; a childish fixation on a toy airplane wends its way to the massacre at Halabcheh; a dilettante director makes his first film at the front; a teenage paramilitary ages while escorting Iraqi prisoners behind Iranian lines; war interrupts, reignites, and redirects a peace-time passion; a mother of martyrs regrets her own motherhood. Always full of twists and turns, Habib Ahmadzadeh’s tales provide original views of the War and its aftermath.

author

Habib Ahmadzadeh

Habib Ahmadzadeh is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War, whose military career began when he served as a teenage Basiji and ended after he attained the rank of Captain in the regular army. He has studied theatre arts and is an accomplished scenarist. Ahmadzadeh is also the author of a prize-winning collection of short stories called The War Involved City Stories (Dastan-ha-ye Shahr-e Jangi), one of which became the basis for the film “Night Bus” (Autobus-e Shabaneh; directed in 2007 by the well-known film and television artist Kiumars Poorahmad). Ahmadzadeh also provided the research for Conversation with the Shadow (Goft-o Goo ba Sayeh (directed in 2006 by Khosrow Sinai), a study of one of Iran’s greatest writers Sadeq Hedayat (d. 1951). Part biography, part literary criticism, the film is an original contribution to the voluminous literature on Hedayat’s most important work of fiction The Blind Owl (Buf-e Kur).

Acknowledgements

Translator’s Introduction

THE STORIES:

1- Eagle Feather.

2- The Airplane.

3- An Umbrella for the Director.

4- Thirty-nine plus One Prisoners.

5- The Fleeing of the Warrior.

6- A Letter to the Family Saad.

7- If there were no Darya Qoli.

8- Vengeance, Vengeance, Vengeance.

9- Neneh.

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