The Mourners of Bayal

  • Author: Gholamhossein Sa’edi
  • Publication Date: 1964

Perhaps the best-known collection of Gholamhossein Sa’edi’s short stories, The Mourners of Bayal comprises eight interconnected stories, all of which revolve around the “inescapable horrors of death, disease, drought, and famine in a fictitious village named Bayal.” (Entezari, EI) “The Cow,” a short story in this collection was made into a very successful black and white movie by Dariush Mehrjuyi in 1969. The movie was an immediate success, both in Iran and abroad, and won the Critic’s Award in the Venice Film Festival (1971). According to Mirabedini, the easy blend of real and fantastic in The Mourners has inspired critics to hail the collection as an early instance of magical realism in Iran simultaneous with its bloom with the publication of A Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by  Gabriel Garcia Marques.

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