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- Publisher: VINTAGE
- Format: Paperback | 160 pages
- Dimensions: 127mm x 203mm x 12mm | 159g
- Publication date: 21 September 2007
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0099468395
- ISBN 13: 9780099468394
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 468,719
This work was set in 1920s, in Iran. In a crumbling house in a provincial town, the last survivor of a deposed dynasty is slowly dying from tuberculosis. The Prince's once magnificent domain has shrunk to his domestic household, where the glories of his ancestors haunt him. Drifting in and out of consciousness, the Prince is tormented by episodes relived of his forbears' callous and whimsical rule. Long-dead relations glare out from photographs gathering dust in the Prince's room, or in his fevered imagination step down from their picture frames to threaten and berate him. Of these phantoms, the most terrifying is his wife Fakhronissa, who taunts him, as in life, with the vigour and potency of his grandfather and his great-grandfather. In his anguish, as his life unravels, the Prince consoles himself by seducing her servant Fakhri.
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Hushang Golshiri (1937-2000) was born in Isfahan, Iran. He worked as a teacher, published a collection of short stories and edited a literary journal. In 1978 he travelled to the USA, but returned the following year to become a leading writer and critic of post-revolution Iran. Golshiri was awarded Germany's Erich Maria Remarque Prize in 1999 for his efforts to fight oppressions and to promote democracy and human rights.
"There is no denying the power of Golshiri's writing . . . This is one of the most disturbing novels I have read in a long time. It's made all the more unsettling for being sensational only in the skill of its telling." -Rosemary Goring, "Glasgow Herald"