Reza Ghassemi [b. 1949]


Born in Isfahan in 1949 to an Iranian couple of Southern origin, Reza Ghassemi soon flourished as a talented musician, player of the Persian Setar,  and composer of songs (for masters of traditional music Shahram Nazeri and Mohammad-Reza Shajarian.
Ghassemi has also been a prolific writer of plays, short stories, and novels that won noteworthy awards in the past decade, such as the 2002 Golshiri Literary Award for Nocturnal Harmony of Lumbers’ Orchestra. His other breakthrough novel The Spell Chanted by Lambs (the first Iranian novel that got completely published online as a reaction to censorship of his work) is recently translated to English by Erfan Mojib. 



  • Nocturnal Harmony of Lumbers’ Orchestra (1991-1994), First print: Nashr-e-Ketab: Los Angeles, 1996. Sixth print: Niloofar Publications, Tehran.
  •  The Well of Babel (1994-1998), First print: Baran Publications: Sweden, 1999.
  • The Spell Chanted by Lambs (2002; published online), Khavaran Publications: 2008.


  • كسوف — Eclips (1968). published in Khousheh Magazine
  • صفيه موعود –Promised Safiya (1971)
  • نامه‌هايي بدون تاريخ از من به خانواده‌ام و بالعكس — Undated Letters to My Family and Vice Versa (1974)
  • چو ضحاك شد بر جهان شهريار –And So Became Azhidehak The World’s Emperor (1977)
  • اتاق تمشيت –The Torture Chamber (1980)
  • خوابگردها  –The Dreamwalkers (1978)
  • ماهان كوشيار —Mahan Kooshyar (1983)
  • معماي ماهان كوشيار –Mystery of Mahan the Architect (1985)
  • حركت با شماست مركوشيوIt’s Your Turn to Move Mercutio (1990)
  •  تمثال –The Icon (1991)


    • “Little Elm-tree, Lonely Elm-tree,” (1970) story for children
    • “The Cliff” (1996)
    • Umbrella, Cat & Narrow Wall (1997) 


  • Music in Taziyeh (1975)
  • Contemplations on Iranian Music (1986-1990)
  • The Lost Ring of Amara (1995-2001)


  • Le dilemme de l’architecte Mâhyâr 1988 –  Editions Les Solitaires Intempestifs
  • Portrait 1995 – Editions L’Harmattan
  • A vous de jouer Mercutio! 1995 – Editions L’Harmattan
  • Harmonie nocturne 2001 – Editions Phébus


 Nocturnal Harmony of Lumbers’ Orchestra [1996]

First published in the U.S. 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.

The Spell Chanted by Lambs [Fa.2004 | En.2013] 

“The nurse is from Martinique. She is one of those gorgeous delicate mulatto girls.  If she is from good stock (like this one, who has taken my hand and is pumping) one can either fall in love with her or if his loving blade is dull he can only stare at the back of her delicate ears or at the strand of hair beneath her ear, and softly tell her in a voice that sounds as if it’s coming from the depth of a bleak cellar, “You don’t have to measure my pressure jigar, you’ll get tired.” And express it as if you’re chanting one of those ancient spells; one of those spells chanted by lambs when they put henna on their forehead before taking them to slaughterhouse; spells that I always chant.” 

Read more about this book…


  • Reza Ghassemi’s Personal Website
---|Updated February 01, 2014|---
About Farzaneh Doosti 33 Articles

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