"Dowlatabadi draws a detailed, realist picture of Iranian life . . . in language that is complex and lyrical." --"The Financial Times"
In the midst of the Iran-Iraq War, an Iraqi journalist is given a tour of a military prison. The Major in charge of the camp informs the writer of what is expected: he is to write a fabricated report about a murder that has occurred in the camp, with the aim of demoralizing Iranian soldiers.
Reluctant to write the report, the writer spends a long night talking and drinking with the Major and detailing a work of fiction he is composing about a group of soldiers trapped on a hill, dying of thirst as they battle for a water tank with a group of enemy soldiers perched on the opposite hill. The tank remains undamaged, but neither group has a hope of reaching it without being killed.
In a narrative riddled with surreal images, shifting perspectives, and dark humor, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi--widely acknowledged as the most important living Iranian writer--offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the warring countries as he questions the meaning of national identity and does something that has been nearly impossible to do in Iran for the last century: tell a true story.
About the Author
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is one of his generation's most important writers. The author of numerous novels, plays and screenplays, he is a leading proponent of social and artistic freedom in contemporary Iran. His revered artistic stature has protected him from death threats and persecution by the government, and he continues to be a prolific and beloved writer in modern Iran.
Praise for The Colonel:
"Mr. Dowlatabadi draws a detailed, realist picture of Iranian life, especially that of the rural poor, in language that is complex and lyrical, rather than simplistic." —The Financial Times
"A demanding and richly composed book by a novelist who stands apart." —Kirkus Reviews
"The Colonel is a remarkable and important book ... a masterpiece." —The Globe and Mail
"It's about time everyone even remotely interested in Iran read this novel." —The Independent