“A Vital Killing” writer completes new collection “War Celebration”

March 11, 2019

TEHRAN – Ahmad Dehqan, the writer of the acclaimed short story collection “A Vital Killing”, has completed his new collection titled “War Celebration”.

The new collection, like other works by Dehqan, is about the repercussions of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

“This collection of ten short stories has been created based on ideas that have popped into my head over the past three years,” he told the Persian service of MNA on Sunday.

“I’m satisfied with ‘War Celebration’ and I feel it repeats the pleasure I had with my previous works,” he added.

“The ambiance of the stories in the new collection has not changed so much. I’ve remained as the same writer of ‘A Vital Killing’,” he stated.

“A Vital Killing” is inspired by actual events from the war. One of the stories from the collection is about Akbar, a war veteran who goes in search of the father of his fellow combatant, Yahya, to tell him his dark secret that he was forced to suffocate the badly injured Yahya under water during an operation in order to avoid the operation to be uncovered by his groans.

“The stories of ‘War Celebration’ are sometimes set in the war and sometimes occur in the aftermath of the war, but in all of them, the fates of people are very important for me,” Dehqan said.

“In comparison with my previous works, I’ve been quite frank about the stories in this new collection… Like Arabian coffee, a war story should be so strong that you feel pleasure with it. In addition, a war writer should have something new to tell; a story about war is successful that can draw the readers to the alleys and back lanes of the subject. Otherwise, people have already seen its streets and main roads,” he mentioned.

“I have many ordinary ideas to write about, but I’ve been a war writer and will remain a war writer,” noted Dehqan, who is also the writer of “Bearing 270 Degrees”, which was translated into English by American Persian literature scholar Paul Sprachman.

Caroline Croskery, the American translator of a number of works from contemporary Persian literature, has rendered “A Vital Killing”, and based upon which Iranian director Maziar Miri made the acclaimed movie “The Reward of Silence” in 2007. 

She also translated his story “Wandering in a Strange Land”, in which a group of Iranian soldiers organize an operation to save some Kurdish people captured by Iraqi forces.

Photo: Writer Ahmad Dehqan attends an interview with MNA on March 3, 2019. (Mehr/Majid Haqdoost) 

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