About the Book
This is a collection of short stories that can best be described as informal oral history of life and culture in Iran, recorded as light-heartedly as possible.
The book features various aspects of the ongoing clashes between the forces of modernity and those of “return to self,” which began with the revolution of 1905 and culminated in the revolution of 1979. As pointed out in the preface to the book, most of the people who populate the stories were personally known to the author. The events cover more than half a century–starting from the upheavals of World War II when the author was a young child.
Father Takes a Drink 1
Look to Your Left First 19
My Brother’s Wind Horse 39
Russian Movies at Your Own Risk 55
The Guardian of Rhythm and Rhyme 67
Showers Come to Town 87
Faulty Forecasts 107
What’s in a Surname? 123
Justice Couldn’t Wait 141
One Picture’s Preposterous Power 159
Fear of Reading 175
Dreaming of Free Elections 193
About the Author
Heydar Radjavi was born and raised in Tabriz and did not leave that city until he was admitted to the University of Tehran in 1953. He was in love with modern Persian literature and dreamed of being a writer until he switched to mathematics at the end of high school (but that is another story). He received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota, in 1962 and taught in Iranian, American, and Canadian universities until he moved permanently to Canada in 1972. He now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with his wife Ursula. He has published books and articles in mathematical journals, and was known to most of his friends and acquaintances as a mathematician until his first collection of short stories, French Hats in Iran, published in 2011. Father Takes a Drink is his second collection of memories of old Iran.