Ale Ebrahim Recommends

Mohammadreza Ale-Ebrahim, our February 2014 featured writer, was born in Estahban in 1951 and holds a double B.A. in Training Sciences (management and planning) and Persian Literature. He is a published  short story writer and folklore researcher. A detailed profile of Ale-Ebrahim is available here. We took the opportunity to ask about the most influential books of his life as a writer at least three generations older than us, as well as the Iranian books he finds apt for global attention. 

PARSAGON  What are the top seven works of world literature that have had the deepest influence on your life and career?


  1. Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  3. John Christopher by Romain Rolland
  4. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  5. The Miserable by Victor Hugo
  6. The Mother by Maxim Gorky
  7. All Chekhov’s works


PARSAGON  What are the top seven works of contemporary literature – both fiction and nonfiction – that deserve global attention or have been neglected by world readers and translators?

ALE-EBRAHIM  I find these works noteworthy:

  1. The Blind Owl by Sadeq Hedayat
  2. Cloudy Years by Ali-Ashraf Darvishian
  3. Missing Soluch by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
  4. The Mourners of Bayal by Gholamhossein Sa’edi
  5. Neighbours by Ahmad Mahmoud
  6. Samad Behrangi Works (especially the Little Black Fish)
  7. Social History of Iran by Morteza Ravandi


Cloudy Years is a four-volume buildungsroman novel by Ali Ashraf Darvishian (b. 1941) which was published in 1992 by Esparak publications. The novel is set in pre-revolutionary Iran in 1949-1979 and has been re-published 8 times. The narrator is a 3 or 4 year old boy who grows old reaching 40 as the story unfolds.

The Little Black Fish (1947) by Samad Behrangi (1939-1967) is the story of an adventurous little black fish which sets out on a quest to explore the stream where it lives.  The story is translated to many languages including English, Turkish, Pashtoo. It was also awarded the Golden Plaque of Bologna in 1969 and the Honorary Diploma of BIB in the same year.


About Mahboube Khalvati 12 Articles
Mahboube Khalvati is a PhD Candidate in English Literature at UNISA.

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