It’s the year 1366 according to the Iranian solar calendar, and 1987 according to the Gregorian, and I am seven years old, as old as the war against Iraq, on the run in a little village with no electricity near Khorramabad.
Shining Dead is based on the author’s own experiences from the eight-year Iran-Iraq war as well as the changes that occurred in Iranian society in the years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In perceptive and pictorial language, Shafieian describes a dramatic childhood in which war against Iran’s neighbour is superseded by war against the Iranian people’s own rulers: there are vivid, intricate descriptions of the atmosphere in the cities in the wake of chemical bombardment, alongside accounts of events in left-wing radical circles, with arrests and executions of intellectuals and dissidents as they were experienced by a child. Shining Dead is a novel about memory, about belonging, the home of one’s childhood, and deep love for family and friends.
Mazdak Shafieian’s novel Shining Death is a unique memoir that looks back on violent years of revolution and war in Iran.