Nocturnal Harmony of Lumbers’ Orchestra

  • Author: Reza Ghassemi
  • Publisher: Cheshmeh; 2002

First published in the U.S. in 1996 (Nashr-e Ketab-e America) and then by the Iranian publisher Cheshmeh, it was lauded as the Best Novel of the Year [2002] by Houshang Golshiri Literary Award and as the 2002 Novel of the Year by the Press Critics Awards.

In the absence of an English translation, the novel was translated to French and published by Phebus in Paris in 2001.

Nocturnal Harmony relates the dystopian life of a group of Iranian immigrants illegally dwelling in a tenement in Paris narrated by the author himself, a hallucinating and mentally-troubled young man who has fled the post-revolutionary Iran to end up dwelling with a variety of typical exilic Iranians – a macrocosm of Iranian society. The narrative is a mixture of social realism and phantasmagoria. Writer and critic Koushyar Parsi regards Ghassemi’s narrative form as “a balance between two forms of imagination, a balance between masquerade and nostalgia, whose synthesis in the novel arouses moments of poetic creativity.”

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