Deaf-Mute History of Persia

My Fathers Notebook Kader Abdolah 2006.

My Father’s Notebook

The main character, Aga Akbar, in this original novel is a deaf mute living during a period in Persian (Iranian) history from the first Reza Shah through Khomeini and the rule of the clerics. Aga Akbar guides foreign scholars to visit the cave in Senejan where ancient cuneiform reliefs are found. No scholar has been able to decipher the cuneiform writing. Given a notebook by his father and encouraged to write, Aga Akbar invents his own written language that looks like the cave writings. It is the self appointed task of his dutiful son to learn to read the father`s writing and produce a book based on his life.

Cuneiform digital image by Fung Lin Hall

The author was a left wing student and activist during the reign of 1953 CIA’s Shah Reza Pahlavi and was forced to leave Iran for the Netherlands when the clerics came to power. The book was originally written in Dutch.

Included is a brief history of Shiite Muslims and the twelfth successor Mahdi who still sits in a well on Saffron Mountain waiting to be called (like the Christian second coming of Christ). This novel is a good readable introduction to Persia with numerous interesting characters.

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