Throne of Solomon [Takht-e Abunasr] By Sadeq Hedayat

Abji Khanum, The Spinster by Sadeq Hedayat

In the second year of the excavations at the Metropolitan Museum of Chicago near Shiraz, on the hill of “Takht-e Abunasr”,” scientific investigations were carried out. But apart from the cramped and acidic tombs, which often contained the bones of several people, nothing worth mentioning had been discovered except red pots, glazed pottery, bronze lids, […]

Twenty Four Hours in Waking and Dreaming By Samad Behrangi

Twenty Four Hours in Waking and Dreaming By Samad Behrangi

Dear Reader, I did not write the story of “Waking and Dreaming” to teach you a lesson. My intention is to make you more familiar with the children of my homeland and to encourage you to think about the cure for their ailments. If I were to endeavor to document everything that happened to me […]

Manifestation (Tajalli) By Sadeq Hedayat

Sadeq Hedayat

As dusk began to weave its shadowy carpet across the sky, Hasmik pulled the brim of her hat down to cover her eyebrows and pulled the collar of her cloak closer, as if to ward off the encroaching cold. With swift, deliberate steps, she made her way home, her mind so ensnared by confused thoughts […]

The Behind-the-Curtain Doll By Sadeq Hedayat [Arusak Posht-e Pardeh]

The Behind-the-Curtain Doll By Sadeq Hedayat

The summer vacation had begun. In the corridor of the boys’ grammar school in Le Havre, the boarders left the school whistling and cheering with their suitcases in their hands. Only Mehrdad was standing still, holding his hat like a merchant whose ship had sunk, looking despairingly at his suitcase. The principal with his bald […]

The Claws By Sadeq Hedayat

Claws By Sadeq Hedayat

When Seyyed Ahmad entered the house, he cast a suspicious glance across the courtyard, then knocked with his stick on the brown door of the room above the cistern and called softly: “Robabeh… Robabeh…!” The door opened and a pale, frightened girl came out: “Brother, is that you? Come up here.” She took her brother’s […]

Hajji Murad By Sadeq Hedayat

Hajji Murad By Sadeq Hedayat

Hajji Murad stepped from the threshold of his store with a bold leap, smoothed the folds of his robe and fastened his silver belt before running his fingers through his henna-stained beard. He summoned his apprentice Hassan with a shout. Together they secured the store for the day. From the depths of his generous pocket, […]

I Swear I am not a Whore by Houshang Golshiri

Houshang Golshiri

It was 4:30 p.m., and not everyone was expected to arrive until 5:00 pm. The table was almost ready, all that was missing was some ice, cucumber yogurt, a can opener, and the like. Moqaddasi, who lived just two streets away, could help us if he managed to come. He had the job of bringing […]

Customs and Taxes By Jalal Al-e Ahmad

Customs and Taxes By Jalal Al-e Ahmad

At the border checkpoint, the process was efficient. My identity was verified by comparing my photograph to my face, and upon presenting my recently acquired smallpox vaccination certificate from Khorramshahr, which cost two tomans, I was allowed entry. A diligent policeman took charge of my suitcase, escorting me to the riverbank a short distance away. […]

The Marriage Mender (Muhallil) By Sadeq Hedayat

Sadeq Hedayat

Four hours before sunset, Pas Qaleh appeared abandoned in the mountains. There were glasses of yogurt drink and syrup and colorful glasses on a table in front of a picturesque coffee house. On a nearby pedestal stood an old gramophone playing heart-rending records. The coffee house owner stirred the brass samovar with his sleeves rolled […]

Someone Else’s Child By Jalal Al-e Ahmad

Someone Else’s Child By Jalal Al-e Ahmad

What could I do? My husband was unwilling to take care of the child with me. The child, from my previous marriage, was not his, and my ex-husband had refused to take the child. What would someone else in my situation have done? I had to live my life too. If my current husband also […]

The East of the Violet By Shahriar Mandanipour

Shahriar Mandanipour

Now that the veil has been lifted from the secrets hidden in the sentences you have read, now that every point of these words is before you, may the sweetness of Minoo’s wine caress your lips. For though fate has allotted you a portion of the bitter brew of this world, it has also endowed […]

Farsi is Sugar By Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh

Farsi is Sugar By Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh

Nowhere else in the world is everyone so indiscriminately lumped together as in Iran. After five years of nomadic life and emotional turmoil, I had not yet caught a glimpse of Iran’s holy ground from the deck of the ship when I heard the chants of the Gilaki boat people from Anzali singing “Balam jan, […]

Ask the Migratory Birds By Simin Daneshvar

Ask the Migratory Birds By Simin Daneshvar

I found myself dreaming that my mother was dreaming about me. In her dream, I was vividly acting out the scenarios she envisioned. It defied all logic, yet does everything in life adhere strictly to the realms of reason? In her dream, she witnessed a hand wielding scissors approaching my head, with freshly cut hair […]

Abji Khanum, The Spinster by Sadeq Hedayat

Abji Khanum, The Spinster by Sadeq Hedayat

Abji Khanum was Mahrokh’s elder sister, but anyone who did not know their background would hardly believe that they were sisters. Abji Khanum was tall, slim and had a wheat-colored complexion, thick lips and black hair; overall, she was considered unattractive. In contrast, Mahrokh was short, fair-skinned, with a small nose, date-colored hair and enchanting […]