War literature under spotlight at Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards

October 26, 2020 - 19:18

TEHRAN – The organizers of the 13th edition of the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards, Iran’s most lucrative literary prize, announced on Monday that books written on the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which is known as the Sacred Defense in Iran, will be reviewed this year to honor top works of the past four decades.

“Novels, short stories, reviews and documents produced over the past 40 years on the Sacred Defense will be selected by a number of journalists and representatives of the media active in the literature arena,” director of the awards Behruz Jalali said. 

Winners will be selected by a jury panel and a group of veteran journalists in the program entitled “Forty Years of the Sacred Defense Fiction”.

This program has been designed to highlight the high position of the Sacred Defense in the history of Iranian contemporary literature. 

“Teahouse Painting”, the memoirs of Kazem Darabi, an Iranian suspect in the 1992 Mykonos Restaurant assassinations case in Berlin, won the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Award during the 12th edition last year.

In the book, Darabi explains how he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997 for having a hand in gunning down four members of the Kurdish opposition in the Mykonos Restaurant in the German capital in 1992 and his life during 15 years in captivity in Germany.

“Teahouse Painting” published in early 2019 received the honor in the documentation category.

“Trainspotter”, Ehsan Noruzi’s studies on the history of railroads in Iran, won an honorable mention in this section.

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi, attending the awards ceremony, said that Iranian culture and civilization both historically and geographically have many subjects to study, however, there is a wide gap between what has been carried out and what must be done.

No winner was announced by the jury in the novel section. However, “The Shamelessness Situation” by Hamed Jalali, about a young man during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, and Mohammadreza Marzuqi’s “Turning on the One-Way Street”, about a hero who intends to solve a puzzle that even its designers cannot decipher, won honorable mentions in this category.

The short story section also had no winner. “We Were Traveling Through the Heyran Pass” by Hossein Lalbazri received an honorable mention.

“Domestication of Magic Realism in Iran” by Mohammad and Mohsen Hanif and “Theory and Literary Criticism” by Hossein Payandeh shared the award in the literary criticism section.

“About Eternality and Mortality” by Ahmad Shakeri won an honorable mention in this category.

Photo: Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Award. 

RM/MMS/YAW

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