Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is one of Iran’s most important writers. The author of numerous novels, plays and screenplays, he is a leading proponent of social and artistic freedom in contemporary Iran. Dowlatabadi pioneered the use of the everyday language of the Iranian people as suitable for high literary art, and often examines the lives of the marginal and oppressed in his work. Born in a remote farming region of Iran, his early life and teens were spent as an agricultural day laborer until he made his way to Tehran where he started working in the theater and began writing plays, stories and novels. Though a dissident, he has been protected by the importance of his literary contribution and revered artistic stature, and he continues to be one of Iran’s most prolific and beloved writers. He has most recently stated that he will stop publishing his work until the climate of censorship lightens. He lives in Tehran. This is his first novel translated into English.