Art And Culture

Short Story by Iranian Author Published in Guardian

Short Story by Iranian Author Published in Guardian
Short Story by Iranian Author Published in Guardian

A short story by Iranian author, translator Mohammad Tolouei was published in the British newspaper Guardian on February 14.

Titled ‘Made in Denmark’, it is one of the short stories in the collection ‘Lessons by Father’, interdependent stories themed on a father-son relationship, published in Persian by Ofoq Publications in Iran in 2014 which was previously translated into Italian, Mehr News Agency reported.

Translated by Iranian translator Farzaneh Doosti, ‘Made in Denmark’ tells the story of a family in which the father attempts to convince his wife and children to leave Iran for Denmark.

Born in Rasht, Tolouei, 37, is also a poet, screenwriter, novelist and playwright. He is known for his romantic poems that are translated into other languages including English and Italian. 

His debut novel ‘Fair Wind’s Prey’, published in 2007, is an account of the residents of Rasht, in north Iran, during the Second World War, enforced emigration of Polish refugees through Iran and the formation of the Communist Party in Iran. 

In almost all his stories, mockumentary (depicting fictional events but presented as a documentary in order to satirize the subject) is the dominant narrative.

In 2011, Tolouei’s debut short story collection ‘I’m Not Janette’ was released by Ofoq Publications. The book was hailed by critics for its clean language and mastery over the subcultures of Iranian culture that had long been taken for granted in contemporary literature. It won the 12th Golshiri Award for debut short story collection in February 2013.

At present he is director of The Iranian Association of Writers for Children. Besides the Guardian, his works have been published in several Italian periodicals. 

Doosti, 36, is a PhD candidate in English literature, university lecturer and literary translator. She has translated a wide range of literary texts, including poems by Egyptian Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy, Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad, American novelist and short story writer John Cheever, Anglo-Irish satirist and poet Jonathan Swift, as well as Iranian poet and actor Hossein Panahi and artist and writer Ali-Akbar Sadeghi.

Lee Yew Leong, chief editor of the Guardian wrote: “On the subject of the travel ban, much of the rhetoric coming out of Trump’s administration has focused on the dangers posed by immigrants. This devastating but ultimately heartwarming story by Iranian writer Mohammed Tolouei, told from the point of view of a four-year-old, conveys to us what it is like from the other side that may not be so readily apparent to those who’ve never been forced to flee their countries. To be reckoned with, above all, in any decision to migrate, is the pain of uprooting from one’s homeland.”

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