An interview with Mansur Anvari

The longest Iranian novel “Road of War”

April 3, 2022 - 17:6

The longest Iranian novel, "Road of War," was finally completed last year, and its author, who has received numerous books of the year awards for this interesting work, declared that the series had come to an end with the twelfth volume.

Mansur Anvari, a well-known Khurasani author, was born in Neishabur, Khurasan Razavi province, in 1955. He began his career writing short stories in 1985 and is now best known for the 12-volume novel "Road of War," which took him more than ten years to complete.

* Please tell us about the storyline of this long novel. 

This series of stories begins and ends in Khurasan, from the Russian invasion in August 1941 to Iraq's imposed war on Iran.

* What inspired you to choose this title for the book?

During World War II, the Allies used Iran's strategic location to transfer supplies and military equipment to the Russians via the Shahrud Road, so the road was actually the reason for Allied victory, and later, during the Islamic revolution, this road played a significant role. In fact, it is a metaphor and a symbol that war never ends.

* Many people say that the age of series books is over and readers no longer have the time to read such long books. What are your thoughts on the matter?

There will be readers if the book is interesting enough, and The point is that this novel covers half a century of Iranian history; if there were fewer books, it may not have been read or all of the topics would not have been covered.

* What other factors, aside from warfare, led to the success of this book?

In this novel, I tried to write half a century of this country’s life in detail, from traditions, customs, folklore, historical and religious issues. Also, many forgotten customs and traditions of North Khurasan have been mentioned in "Road of War’.

* Were you influenced by other novels about the same subject when you were writing "Road of War"?

I examined the writing styles of books like "And Quiet Flows the Don," "Gone with the Wind," "Les Misérables," and "War and Peace" when writing this book. These books are not just works of fiction; they represent the country's cultural, social, and political developments at the time.

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