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Writing War in Contemporary Iran

The Case of Esmāʻil Fasih’s Zemestān-e 62

Saeedeh Shahnahpur

Writing War in Contemporary Iran offers a complete account of Esmā’il Fasih’s life, works, and position in contemporary Iranian literature. This book uses a text-based analysis of Fasih’s wartime novel Zemestān-e 62 (The Winter of ‘83, 1985) as a case study, and illustrates how the book set a precedent for anti-war novels that appeared in the period following the Iran–Iraq War. Unlike the many one-dimensional novels of the time which focused only on state ideology, Fasih’s novel grapples with broader issues, such as the state’s war rhetoric and the socio-political realities of life in wartime, including the impact of the War of the Cities on the daily lives of Iranians, government policies and their enactment, and the contribution of the upper class to war efforts. In this vein, The Winter of ‘83 was the first Persian anti-war novel that was different in that it did not present a glorified or heroic vision of the war and its participants. Furthermore, the book deals with the analysis of Fasih’s postwar novels, which emphasized the roles and sacrifices of Iranian women during the war—a neglected theme in Persian war novels—marking him as one of the most culturally important war writers in contemporary Iran.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Shahnahpur, Saeedeh, author. Title: Writing war in contemporary Iran: the case of Esmāʹil Fasih’s Zemestān-e 62/ Saeedeh Shahnahpur. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2019. Based on the author’s dissertation (doctoral)—Leiden University, 2016. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Identifiers: LCCN 2018057307 | ISBN 978-1-4331-6338-8 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-6586-3 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-6587-0 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-6588-7 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Faṣīḥ, Ismāʻīl. Zamistān-i 62. | War in literature. Classification: LCC PK6561.F266 Z3557 2019 | DDC 891/.5533—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b15514

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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