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Black Parrot, Green Crow Paperback – June, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


"A thoroughly contemporary work, a lament for a lost utopia." -- Times Literary Supplement for Golshiri's King of the Benighted

From the Inside Flap

Until now, only a sparse selection of Golshiri’s fiction has been available in English translation--three short stories, a novella written under a pseudonym, and his novel Prince Ehtejab, which was made into a film. Now, Black Parrot, Green Crow brings together the largest collection of Golshiri’s writings in any language--eighteen short stories and three poems. They span the arc of Golshiri’s career as a writer, from his days as a young student in Isfahan under the Pahlavi regime, to the 1980s and 1990s, and the disappointment of Iranian people with the Islamic Republic. Golshiri’s stories, crafted with a withering irony, expose the fanatical and draconian political apparatus of tyrannical regimes, while his wry humor and delicate sensitivity to the human condition tempers the blistering satire, making the narratives short but nonetheless harrowing and touching tragedies. The tales are filled with the uncertainty of life in a culture undergoing drastic change, a! nd hauntingly etch the plight of the individual in a climate of political oppression.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Mage Publishers (June 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0934211744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0934211741
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,767,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Houshang Golshiri is another amazing Iranian contemporary writer...one can sense the influence of Sadegh Hedayat in that the subjects of many of these short stories are dark and mysterious in this collection with the ironic title Black Parrot, Green Crow which some say symbolizes the clerics and the greens. There is in Houshang's writing that same kind of interrupted flow of consciousness where repeated sentences reappear again and again without objects, leading to great suspence and wonder...disturbed thought,like synapses not being made...the reader senses the dread and the fatal ending on its way sometimes predictable often not. "The Wolf" is such a story. We know that it will end badly with the beautiful wife of the professor and her obsession with the wolf or the "The Portrait of the Innocent I" in which a scare crow named Hassani in a field has strange effects on the minds of the villagers and people keep meeting calamitous and mysterious ends next to it or with articles of their clothing found on the scare crow.

There is also a subtle criticism of some of the negative aspects of Persian culture. The first story "Behind the Thin Stalks of the Bamboo Screen" reveal the worthlessness and abuse assigned to a poor disfigured prostitute while the antagonist fantasizes over a photo of a Western blonde cut out of a magazine. "The Man with the Red Tie" shows the colossal stupidity of the secret police under the IRI and yet it is also quite a humorous story. "My China Doll" is a shocking psychological landscape of a little girl whose father has been jailed and disappeared by the IRI we presume.
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