Born in 1972, Fereshteh Ahmadi is a graduate of architecture from The Univerity of Tehran. She started her literary career as a critic and writer in the 1990s. Her debut work, Nameless, is a story for young children. Her first short story collection named Everyone’s Sarah was released in 2004. “Television,” a short story in this collection, won the Houshang Golshiri Award in 2005. Her two novels The Fairy of Forgetfulness and Cheese Forest, were both published in 2009 the former of which received the statuette of The Booksellers’ Best Book of the 2009 Rouzi Rouzegari Awards. Her latest book is a short story collection titled Heatstroke (2013). Fereshteh Ahmadi has been a jury member of Rouzi Rouzegari Awards and the Houshang Golshiri Award.
- Domestic Monsters (2016)
- Heartstroke (2013)
- Cheese Forest (2009)
- Fairy of Forgetfulness (2009)
- Everyone's Sarah (2004)
Heatstroke: Short Story Collection
A girl finds in an orchard in their neighborhood a statue of white marble with no head and no legs down the knee. It is the statue of a beautiful female body that is perhaps thrown away for its nudity. She shows the statue to a boy with a special interest in strange statutes and they agree that he will take the statue away with his car in an appropriate time. Days pass one after another but the boy does nothing. The girl considers different ways of taking the statue to the boy and surprising him, but one day she realizes that the statute is missing. She is worried; what if the boy asks about the statue? She wants to forget all about it but she can’t.
The narrator is watching a film of a visit to her childhood hometown together with her mother. When preparing to see the film, she recalls memories of that home most of which are related to her deceased father. He was the driver of a mechanical shovel called squatter and mother says he used to dig pits in certain places. She has filmed the pit and wants to persuade her mother to take a look at the town after so many years, but the film disappoints her. The pit is too petty like a pit in a carious tooth – that is all remaining from twenty years of father’s drudgery.
The employee’s only charge is to compose contracts letters, yet he complains that all he does is imitating his superiors and is treated like a doormat. In his last letter under composition, he decides to write in a pompous prose a letter based on what he considers to be right regardless of the boss’s instructions. As he completes the letter he starts for home with an ebullient feeling, but halfway he loses all his self-esteem and rushes back to replace it with a letter according to the will of the boss.
A night watchman at a hospital asks his manager to take some tools from the large warehouse over a hill to furnish his cozy rented house. The warehouse keeper lets him in and shows the beds, chairs and tables, but warns him not to touch the items in the wooden carpet; is brother needs them. The night watchman decides to pick those things, too.
Adele Z. has made her mind to change the society as much as she can, and in order to make a model of herself for the forthcoming generation, she keeps track of them in a table of records. But the more she tries, more disappointed she becomes and finally decides to satisfy herself with minor changes and a more limited area. As time moves on, she limits her area of correction further and further until she has to take refuge in the fridge, the only clean and white spot of the house.
A woman is so absorbed in playing computer game Life – virtually purchasing houses, studying, getting married and pregnant – that she feels like her life is being played on fast forward mode. Fear of losing the game and losing everything in her virtual life intensifies until a power cur occurs, the PC unexpectedly shuts down, and she feels finally released.
To discover the real cause of her father’s death, a girl embarks on a journey back to her hometown where she had been raised. During the journey she retells her memories of the town and its inhabitants, mostly mine workers, and realizes that hometown life has a deep and lasting effect on its inhabitants by turning them into cold, intrinsic, misanthropic or perhaps heartless persons. The next chapters trace the girl’s life in Tehran, who is now a passionate young and energetic figure by appearance, but there is still a bitter coldness in her manners.
Before the journey, the girl visits a dervish to gain mental peace and balance. The journey unlocks the mystery of his father’s job and why he was killed.
The following chapters respectively portray the main character’s life on travel and in Tehran, her mind usually engaged with the question whether she needs to see the dervish again. In the last chapter we find her in train travelling again, while in a former chapter she was portrayed on the same train returning home. In a surreal scene the two trains pass each other on the railway and the girl can see herself sitting in the other train, at the threshold of a new beginning.
A girl has a dual life on days and nights. In her dreams she is in love with a man, and they have free and jolly conversations about interesting things like music. But every day she has to deal with her obsessive mother who is never herself and often masks her intentions according to the kind of person she is facing. In order to get rid of her troubled life, the narrator gets married to actualize her dreams. In the second chapter we find the narrator as an active and sociable character…As we approach the end of the novel, the mother unmasks herself and begins to speak up of her fears and anxieties mostly caused by her daughter, a new personality of her emerge quite the contrary of what the girl had envisioned. After the death of the mother, the couple move to her old house and try to start a new normal life but the narrator’s last words reveal her unquenched thirst for forgetting the past.
Everybody’s Sarah: Short Story Collection
a woman in raincoat and high heel boots is wandering in the street, infatuated with the reflection of her image on shop windows, wondering what others would see her and how she should walk or speak to beautifully impress other people. At the end of the day she goes back home, tired and overwhelmed by a man’s remark on a dark street, only to find her reflection in the elevator’s mirror far from what she had always desired to be.
After she sees bloodstains on bed sheets and her mother’s disdainful reaction, Shahrzad goes back in time through few episodes. In each episode a slice of her life and moments of humiliation are shown and every time she is humiliated, we find her younger and smaller until she goes back to her mother’s womb.
A girl wishes his humpback brother were dead. Arash dies and now she is spending unbearable moments of heavy conscience as she thinks her wish has caused her brother’s death. She begins to identify with her brother and his world and finally feels that she has become him.
Having seen family pictures of her friend in a beautiful frame on their wall, the narrator desperately attempts to gather scattered family members to take a family photograph. An attempt which fails and she finally photoshops their personal pictures to make a family photo.
The story is narrated by Arash, the humpback boy of the story of “Arash”. Mother has often blamed him for her Progeria and wrecked life. Arash whitens his hair and face with a can of white paint to look like his dead Father and white-haired mother.
A man is sitting still on the sofa staring at the television and ignoring his wife’s word. To communicate with him, the woman suggests a new game: first, the man should speak of his dreams and problems, and then it would be the woman’s turn. During the game, the man recalls his lifelong desire to set up a studio and do painting. He suddenly leaves the game to see if the basement is a suitable place for that, and again, the woman cannot talk to him.
While opening an envelope sent to her husband without his permission, she recalls her teen years, her affection for a girl called Ziba, her stealthy reading of love letters sent to the neighbor girl, and that she has always liked to read or write a love letter.
A seven-year-old girl finds various images of herself in certain spots of a concaved mirror. She talks to these characters in the mirror and they inform the girl of the secrets of her life, the absence of her father and her birth as an unwanted child.
A man with a very suspicious mind is doubtful about his wife. Every sentence of her ignites a new doubt; he remembers his childhood when he had the same suspicion about his brother and mother’s response only adds to his doubts. The man is all alone in doubt, while every faith he had struggled to keep are to fade as well.
A girl has locked up herself in her room in fear of the family’s reaction to a forbidden deed. To find peace of mind, she thinks about a hundred years later, when she is dead and her grandchildren sit by her tombstone listening to the story of their unruly granny.
A woman named Sarah is dating a married man. She is tender, kind and quiet and seems to have stepped out of heavens in the man’s life. His wife, Shahrzad, is the opposite: hysteric, impatient and sensitive. Sarah and Shahrzad agree to keep on the double life, whereas the man is unsatisfied and decides to dump Sarah. Shahrzad insists on the double game as she enjoys playing both roles of wife and mistress to defeat boredom of their life.