Book of Iran-Iraq war stories hits U.S. bookstores

April 27, 2010

TEHRAN -- The English version of Habib Ahmadzadeh’s book “A City under Siege: Tales of the Iran-Iraq War” was recently released by Mazda Publications in the United States.

The book, translated into English by Paul Sprachman and compiled between 1988 and 2010, is a collection of nine stories involving various aspects of the Iran-Iraq war and its aftermath.
This 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 stories include a young sniper who contemplates the death of his Iraqi prey; a childish fixation on a toy airplane wends its way into 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.
“Eagle Feather”, “The Airplane”, “An Umbrella for the Director”, “Thirty-nine plus One Prisoners”, “The Fleeing of the Warrior”, “A Letter to the Family Saad”, “If there were no Darya Qoli” and “Vengeance, Vengeance, Vengeance” are the titles of short stories.
Habib Ahmadzadeh is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. He has studied theater arts and is an accomplished scenarist. Ahmadzadeh also provided the research for “Conversation with the Shadow” (directed in 2006 by Khosrow Sinai), a study of one of Iran’s greatest writers Sadeq Hedayat (d. 1951). Part biography and part literary criticism, the film is an original contribution to the voluminous literature on Hedayat’s most important work of fiction, “The Blind Owl”.
Photo: A combination photo shows the Persian and English versions of “A City under Siege”