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Lewis speaks about the inspiration behind his 'succinct gem of literary fiction' THE INQUISITOR'S DIARY

The Colonel


The Colonel

RRP: Price: £9.99


Publication Date:



World English language only

Fiction, New Titles



The Conference of the Birds

Chaim Weizmann: The Zionist Dream

By Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

Click here to buy the book

A pitch black, rainy night in a small Iranian town. Inside his house the Colonel is immersed in thought. Memories are storming in. Memories of his wife. Memories of the great patriots of the past, all of them assassinated or executed. Memories of his children, who had joined the different factions of the 1979 revolution. There is a knock on the door. Two young policemen have come to summon the Colonel to collect the tortured body of his youngest daughter and bury her before sunrise. The Islamic Revolution, like every other revolution in history, is devouring its own children. And whose fault is that? This shocking diatribe against the failures of the Iranian left over the last fifty years does not leave one taboo unbroken.

Click here to listen to an interesting Podcast of Barbara Schwepcke discussing the difficulties and importance of publishing authors like Mahmoud Dowlatabadi and the role of literature in revolutionary times.

‘…examine[s] the complexities and moral ambiguities of the experience of the poor and forgotten, mixing the brutality of that world with the lyricism of the Persian language.’ – New York Times – read the full article here.

‘an affecting and beautiful novel’ – The Literary Review

'This novel has what it takes to become a strong and irresistible window into Iran' - Die Zeit

‘a masterpiece… a remarkable and important book’ – Marina Nemat, The Globe and Mail

Read the full interview here.

‘Dowlatabadi’s nuanced treatment of his characters permits readers to understand and empathise with their choices…’ – Buzz Poole, The Millions

Read the full review here.

‘…a pleasure to read…Dowlatabadi is heralded as one of, if not the, greatest Iranian novelists, and The Colonel bears that out. That Dowlatabadi persists, despite having been at various times imprisoned, tortured and censored, is a testament to the Iran that could be, and that still can be.’ – Ed Winstead, The Rumpus 

Read the full review here.

‘Iranian novelist Dowlatabadi (Missing Soluch, 1979, etc.) re-imagines the life of a fabled Persian patriot against the bloody backdrop of the Islamic Revolution…A demanding and richly composed book by a novelist who stands apart.’ - Kirkus Reviews

‘Its about time everyone even remotely interested in Iran read this novel...a passionate and informative fable of the Islamic revolution.’ - Andre Naffis-Sahely, The Independent

Preview the book online here.

Translated from Persian by Tom Patterdale

 Recommended by PEN 

Shortlisted for the International Literary Award 2009 of Haus der Kulturin Berlin

Longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Award 2011

Banned in Iran, Haus Publishing is proud to bring The Colonel to the English language reader for the first time.