Mahshid Amirshahi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Mahshid Amirshahi (also spelled Amir-Shay or Amirshahy) is an Iranian novelist, short story writer, humorist, literary critic, journalist and translator. She was born on 9 April 1937 in Amir Amirshahi, a magistrate, and Moloud Khanlary, a political activist.

Amirshahi attented primary and part of secondary schools in Tehran Iran and later went to Charters Towers, a private boarding school in Bexhill- on- sea Sussex, England. After obtaining her O and A levels in various subject matters she studid physics at Woolwich Polytechnic in London.

At the dawn of the Islamic revolution in Iran she publicly took position against effervescence of fundamentalism and in favour of a secular democracy. Her article in support of Shapour Bakhtiar, the last Premier of Iran prior to the installation of the Islamic Republic and a loyal follower of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, published in daily newspaper Ayandegan was unique in its genre. In those days of revolutionary fervors she dared to warn her compatriots of the dangers of a religious regime This standpoint forced her into exile where she kept up her writings as well as her political fight. Some critics have called her novels: dar hazar & dar safar (At Home & Away) as well as her quartet: maadaraan o dokhtaraan (Mothers and Daughters), all written in exile, “modern classics of Persian litrerature”. Amirshahi’s story reading sessions are particularly appreciated by Iranians.

She has given many lectures in places of significance such as le Palais du Luxembourg (the French Senate) and Harvard University and has written dozens of articles mostly in Persian with occasional contributions to publications such as Newsday (USA) and Les temps modernes (France) in English and French. One of her notable political stands while in exile has been her instigation of the declaration of the Iranian intellectuals and artists in defence of the British author Salman Rushdie who had become the object of a notorious manhunt owing to the fatwa issued by ayatollah Khomeini against him and his book the Satanic Verses. Mahshid Amirshahi was one of the founders of « Comité de défense de Salman Rushdie en France » and a member of a similar Committee for Taslima Nasreen, the writer who was the target of attacks by fundamentalists in Bangladesh.


A few of her short stories have been translated into French, German, Czeck, Bulgar, Arabic …. The followings are translated into English:

Suri & C°., Translated by J.E. Knörzer, University of Texas Press, 1995

String of Beads Translated by Michael Beard, Edebiyât, Vol II, n°1, 1978

After the Last Day,Translated by John Green

Peyton Place : Tehran 1972,Translated by Micheal Beard, Heinemann, 1993

The End of the Passion Play, Translated by Minoo Southgate & Bjorn Robinson Rye, « Modern Persian Short Stories », Three Continent Press, 1980

Brother’s Future Family, Translated by Micheal Beard

The Smell of Lemon Peel, the Smell of Fresh Milk,Translated by Heshmat Moayyad, « Stories from Iran, A Chicago Anthology 1921 – 1991 », Mage Publishers, 1991.


1.The Blind Alley (1966) A collection of short stories, including: The title story Enrolment Day Addeh Album Convelesance (The Czeck Translation appeared in Novy Orient 7/71) Pregnancy Kaandaass The Heat Two Women The Dogs Nausea

2.Bibi Khanom’s Starling (1968) A collection of short stories, including: The title story (Two French translations by two different translators) Brother’s Future Family (Translated by M. Beard in the Chicago Anthology/ Stories from Iran. Also translated by J. E. Knörzer under the title Big Brother’s Future In-Laws.) Ya’ghoub the Subtle (French translation by M. Ghaffary) The Russet Cockroach Khoramshar-Tehran Rain and Lonelyness (The German translation: Regen und Einsamkeit in Die Beiden Ehemänner, Prosa aus Iran, Rütten & Loening, Berlin) My Grand Father is ...(Translated by J. E. Knörzer in Suri & Co.) Counting the Chicks Before they are Hatched Party The Smell of Lemon Peel; the Smell of Fresh Milk (Translated by H. Moayyad in the Chicago Anthology / Stories from Iran)

3.After the Last Day (1969) A collection of short stories, including: After the Last Day (Translated by J. Green: Stories by Iranian Women/Heinemann) Women’s Mourning Ceremony (See Suri & Co.) Agha Soltan from Kermanshah The End of Passion Play (Translated by M. Southgate: Modern Persian Short Stories/Three Continents Press) The Christening of Simin’s Baby (See Suri & Co.) The Mist of the Vally, the Dust of the Raod Interview (See Suri & Co.) Here and Now (Translated by R. Monajem/Iran Peyvand’s Litrerature.)

4.First Person Singular (1970) A collection of short stories, including: Labyrinth (Translated by Micheal Beard under the title of: The String of Beads / Edebiyât / vol.III No.1 / 1978.) Payton Place (See Stories by Iranian Women/Heinemann/ also Suri & Co.) Last Name…, First Name…, No. of Birth Certificate… Paykan Place (See Suri & Co.) The Sun Under Grand Dad’s Pelisse

5.An Anthology of Short Stories (1972)

6.At Home (1987) A Novel of Iran’s Revolution [Persian Title: Dar Hazar]

7.Away (1995) A novel about Iranians in Exile [Persian Title: Dar Safar]

8.Short Stories (1998) including:The 4 previous collections & The Tune of the Lonely Bird and Maryam’s Messiah

9.Abbass Khan’s Wedding (1998) Book One of a quartet called: Mothers and Daughters

10.Dadeh Good Omen (1999) Book Two of Mothers and Daughters

11. Miscellaneous (2000) [Persian Title: Hezaar Bishe.] An anthology of Views, Reviews and Interviews in Persian, English and French

12.Shahrbanoo’s Honey Moon (2001) Book Three of Mothers and Daughters

13. CD Short Stories Read by the Author

14. Persian Fables for Our Time (2010)

15. Mehre-Oli'a‘s Reminiscences (2010) Book Four and final volume of the Mothers and Daughters

External links[edit]