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Iran: My Grandfather

Iran: My Grandfather

Author(s): Ali Alizadeh

Location(s): Iran

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs, Historical, Nonfiction

Era(s): 19th century

A vanished, tattered black and white photograph, taken in Tehran in 1946. The image of a sombre and inscrutable middle-aged man called Salman Fuladvand, a lieutenant and controversial police chief under Iran’s second last king. It is the memory of this photograph that begins Ali Alizadeh’s story of his grandfather Salman’s life, spanning Salman’s youthful devotion to the advancement of his country and the emancipation of Iranian women, his conflicts with the shahs, his wrongful imprisonment, and his eventual embracing of Sufi mysticism. Iran: My Grandfather is a rare mix of narrative, memoir, history and personal exploration. It recounts Iran’s journey from progressive idealism to the ravages of tyranny, imperialism and religious reaction. It is a testament to the mistakes of the past and the present, an examination of family and identity, and an interrogation of the meaning of home and belonging. As Alizadeh writes, this story is a thread to show the path out of the labyrinths. John Kinsella has written: Iran, My Grandfather is a work of recovery, resistance, and affirmation. I think one can say without risk of hyperbole that it is one of the most remarkable texts ever to have been published in Australia.

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