Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, August 21, 2017

"The Gentleman Thief" - A Short Story by Goli Taraghi (translated from Persian, 2013)

Information on Women in Translation Month - August, 2017

Short stories I have read so far for Women In Translation Month - August, 2017

  1. "Happy New Year" by Ajaat Cour - Translated from Punjabi
  2. "The Floating Forest" by Natsuo Kirino- Translated from Japanese
  3. " A Home Near the Sea" by Kamala Das - Translated from Malayalam
  4. "Maria" by Dacia Maraini- Translated from Italian
  5. "Zletka" by Maja Hrgovic - Translated from Croatian
  6. "Arshingar" by Jharna Raham - Translated from Bengali
  7. "Tsipke" by Salomea Perl - Translated from Yiddish
  8. "Mother" by Urmilaw Pawar - Translated from Marathi
  9. "My Creator, My Creation" by Tiina Raevaara - Translated from Finnish
  10. "Cast Offs" by Wajida Tabassum - Translated from Urdu
  11. It's All Up to You" by Slywia Chutnik - Translated from Polish
  12. "Covert Joy" by Clarice Lispector- Translated from Portuguese 
  13. "The Daughter, The Wife, and the Mother" by Arupa Kilita - Translated from Assam
  14. "Red Glow of the New Moon" by Kundanika Kapadia - translated from Gujarati
  15. "Breaking Point" by Usha Mahajan- translated from Hindu
  16. "The Gentleman Thief" by Goli Taragri - translated from Persian

Participating in Women in Translation Month has been a great experience for me, discovering wonderful new to me writers.  

Goli Taragri is a leading Persian writer of short stories, born in Tehran into a distinguished family, she moved to Paris in 1980 after the Iranian Revolution, she never returned to live in Iran but in the 1980s she would occasionally visit.  Much of her work deals with the social and emotional consequences of the revolution.  

"The Gentleman Thief" is the lead story in her 2013 collection, The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons, translated from Persian by Sara Khalili.  It centers on a once affluent family in Tehran, a daughter, working on a degree in philosophy, her nervous mother, her father is dead, and her very eccentric grandmother.  The keep to themselves in fear of The Revolutionary Guard, they have lots of valuable antiquities but the government is now claiming ownership nationwide of all such items.  One days three young men from The Revolutionary Guard enter their house and advise them they must move out as it has been declared government property.  They are given just a few days to leave a house they have occupied since before the daughter was born.  They are all in great emotional turmoil, especially the grandmother who points an antique riffle at the guards.  After some very emotional days, they wind up in an uncle's house.  He has spent years in India, absorbing spiritual teachings.  He has a servant and a dog. 

One night a thief enters their house.  This sets in motion a plot a series of events so strange and beautiful I just must leave it untold.   I almost exclaimed for joy as the story continued.  I will say the daughter left Tehran and came back fifteen years later to an amazing discovery.  

There are two of her translated stories online online at Words Without Borders.  I hope to get to them soon.

Persian (also called Fersi) is the official language of Iran, with about 110,000,000 million speakers.  It also an official language of Afghanistan.  

GOLI TARAGHI (b. 1939 in Tehran) has been honored as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France and won the Bita Prize for Literature and Freedon given by Stanford University in 2009. She earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy in the United States and returned to Tehran to study and work in international relations and, later, to teach philosophy. Most of her work has been published in France and, though frequently censored in Iran, circulates widely there and internationally. Her stories have been included in various anthologies, including including Reza Aslan’s Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East (Norton, 2011); Words without Borders: The World through the Eyes of Writers (Anchor: 2007); and Nahid Mozaffari’s Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature (Arcade, 2005). She lives in Paris

SARA KHALILI’s translations include Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour, The Book of Fate by Parinoush Saniee, and Kissing the Sword: A Prison Memoir by Shahrnush Parsipur. She has also translated several volumes of poetry by Forough Farrokhzad, Simin Behbahani, Siavash Kasraii, and Fereydoon Moshiri. She lives in New York.  - from the publisher.

Mel u

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

This sounds terrific and I'm glad to see that the public library here has some copies of this collection (and a few singles in anthologies by Iranian writers too). Thanks for the recommendation!