TEHRAN -- The winner of Iran’s most lucrative award did not show much surprise in winning the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards, saying he is not young enough to get that happy over winning the prize.
The 56-year-old author Mansur Anvari won the top prize for his 5-volume novel “The War Road”, which narrates the events of the two major wars Iran experienced since 1941.
The top winner receives 110 Bahar Azadi gold coins worth over $66,000.
“I believe I was blessed with God’s mercy. I am not very surprised but naturally I am happy to have won the prize,” he told the Persian service of Fars News Agency.
Anvari, who is living in Mashhad, said that he is planning to buy a house with the money he gets after years of paying rent.
Published by Sureh-Mehr Publications, the story begins with the Allied invasion of Iran and covers different events including those events leading to the Islamic Revolution in 1978 as well as the eight year Iran-Iraq war.
Asked what he thinks made the jury chose his book for the top award, he said, “I believe the major reason was the research I had conducted for the book over the past years.
“The other reason might be its style, which is the style of writing used in the 19th century with detailed description,” he added.
He also explained that he wrote the book with much passion, adding, “There was not much information on the invasion of Iran by Russia and I was even forced to study theses written about the war to find out more about it.”
Anvari also said that “The War Road” when completed will be in 20 volumes and that he is currently busy writing the 8th volume.
“Iran has been through two major wars. I was born in Neyshabur in 1956 just ten years after the end of the war. There were many relatives and neighbors living around me who still remembered the war and I used their memoirs to form my story,” the author had once told the Persian daily Khorasan in an interview published almost two months ago.
“The main character of the story is still alive and is living abroad. He once came to Iran and was a great help to me by giving me good information on the events of those days.
“I began writing the book about seven years ago and continued my research on the events at the same time,” the author said, adding that two more volumes have also been completed and are ready to be published.
The series had already received the 8th Golden Pen Awards in the fiction section this year for the artistic construction of fiction, narrative coherence in time and place, and invaluable thematic research.
The award presentation ceremony will take place on Wednesday at the Institute of Cultural and Art Studies which is affiliated with the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (ACECR).
“Shaking Hands with the Ghosts” and “Love Sacrificing” are Anvari’s other noteworthy credits.
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