Renegotiating the Contemporary Iranian/Persian Literary Landscape: Afghan – Iranian Prose Literature

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Goulia Ghardashkhani


The growing body of works by writers of Afghan heritage in Iran, focused on the experience of war and displacement, has led to the emergence of hyphenated Afghan – Iranian prose literature. Novels and short stories written by Mohammad Hoseyn Mohammadi, ʿAliyeh ʿAtayi, and Ziya Qasemi are among the examples. Written in (Afghan) Persian, demonstrating a high degree of literary quality, and published by first – rate Iranian publishers of contemporary literature, these works unsettle the sociocultural definitions of margins and center in Iran. Apart from this, having conveyed their stories across the Afghan/Iranian geopolitical borders, they have created a textual locus within which the transnational implications of modern and contemporary Persian/Iranian literature as a field are renegotiated.

In the present paper, I will discuss the significance of this literature on two levels: First, I will situate this literature within the Iranian contemporary literary system by taking into account the literary content of these works as well as their reception. Second, I will focus on the implications the emergence of this literature has for modern and contemporary Persian/Iranian literature as a disciplinary field. What is this literature about and what is its impact on what we define as the contemporary Persian/Iranian literary landscape.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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