Writer and literary critic Belgheis Soleimani was born in April 1963 in a rural area near Kerman. She started her literary career as a researcher and critic. Having received her MA degree in Philosophy, she published over 80 critical articles and four works of research, including: Art and Beauty According to Plato (2000), Life and Poetry of Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda (2000), and The Gun and The Scales: An Analysis and Criticism of War Short Stories (2001). The creative side of Belgheis flourished during the 2000s. As she turned 40, she devoted all her time to writing fiction which resulted in a number of novels and short story collections within a decade, namely: Banu’s Last Game (Qoqnoos: 2005), Auntie Games (Qoqnoos: 2008), Bride and Groom Games (2008), Welcome to Hades (2009), Rabbit Day (2011), and Doggone Year (2013).
Winner of the 2006 Mehregan and Isfahan Awards (for Banu…), Soleimani has been the juror of some national awards and a creative writing instructor. Her flash fiction stories are translated to English, Arabic and Italian. “Among my works, I surmise that Auntie Games is the most translatable,” she said responding to our question.
PARSAGON: What are the top seven works of world literature that have had the deepest influence on your life and career?
SOLEIMANI: I have mentioned on many occasions that I have been influenced by these works
- Nahj al-Balagha
- The Shahnama of Ferdowsi
- The Divan of Hafiz
- Keleidar – by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
- Anna Karenina – by Leo Tolstoy
- Madame Bovary – by Goustave Flaubert
- The Joke – by Milan Kundera
PARSAGON: What are the top seven of your choice (both classic and contemporary) that deserve global attention or have been neglected by world readers and translators?
SOLEIMANI: My recommendations for translation or more global attention would be
- The Blind Owl by Sadeq Hedayat
- Suvashun by Simin Daneshvar
- Shazdeh Ehtejab by Houshang Golshiri
- Neighbors by Ahmad Mahmoud
- Missing Soluch by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
- Touba and the Meaning of Night by Shahrnush Parsipur
- The Drowned by Moniru Ravanipour
The drowned (1990)
Best-known novel of writer Moniru Ravanipur is set in Jofra, a remote village in the Persian Gulf region, and is inspired by local myths and legends. Moniru’s stories should be categorized as regional fiction as she deals with details of the geographical landscape and cultural traits of southern Iran and its regional dialect. “The novel is hailed as one of Persia’s first works of magical realism, a literary mode that has found appeal in many regions of the world and has enjoyed substantial popularity in post revolutionary Persian fiction” (Rahimieh, p. 61-62; Yavari, 1997, p. 588; Yazdanfar, p. 50).