Mohammad Tolouei

m-tolouei-thumBorn in 1979 in Rasht, Mohammad Tolouei holds a BA in Cinema and an MA in Dramatic Literature from the University of Tehran. His debut novel Fair Wind’s Prey was published a decade later in 2007 (which brought him the Farda Awards for Best Technical Novel of the Year and was nominated for the 8th Shahid Ghanipour Awards); his first short story collection I’m Not Janette, released in 2011, was the finalist of the 12th edition of the notable Golshiri Literary Awards. In 2014, two more books of the prolific writer were successively released by Ofoq Publications: Lessons by Father, a collection of interdependent short stories themed on father-son relationship, and Real Madrid, a novel for young readers about a group of teen footballers in the South of Iran and their adventurous journey to Dubai in to play with Real Madrid’s teenage football team based in the UAE.

 

  • Real Madrid (2014)
  • Lessons by Father (2014)
  • I'm Not Janette (2011)
  • Fair Wind's Prey (2007)

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 Read Madrid: a novel for children & young adults. Ofoq: 2014

A group of teen soccer players gather up in the southern city of Abadan to form a football team, all dreaming a single dream: to play with Real Madrid Teenage Team. Encouraged by their coach, himself a vanquished pauper, they embark on an illegal launch journey to Dubai in order to play soccer with Real Madrid’s teenag school’s branch in UAE. They face a number of obstacles during their adventure, from hunger to kidnap, that they have to solve one by one in order to make their dream come true…

 

MT-book3Lessons by Father: short story collection. Ofoq: 2014

The recently released colelction traces the first-person narrator Mohammad Tolouei’s life in a more domestic setting and focuses on the relationship between fathor and son and the tension between them back to his childhood memories. His father, an idealist and yet opportunist dreamer wants to be a social climber after the 1979 revolution but unlike his peers, all his plans and ideas fail and he ends up broke and heartbroken in a madhouse, just when his son decides to rescue him and bring him back to family life. The narrations oscillate between his past and present – now a bald roundbelly old man visiting his son who has become a professional storywriter. As the stories move on, we feel that they have find a way to reconcile and accept each other the way they are.  The book consists of six stories: “Summer 84”, “Saving Cousin Koli”, “Made in Denmark”, “Cousin Farangis”, “Hazeover”, and “Diamond Ring”.

“Summer 84”

When asked about his memories of Iran-Iraq war during which he had served as a moving teacher, Father relates an unbelievable story of how his train gets lost in the deserts of Iran with all the soldiers vanished except for him and a nurse…

“Made in Denmark”

Lookaing at an old photo taken before the family’s immigration to Denmark that never took place, the narrator probes into the reasons for his parents quarrels and what brought them to the present situation…

“Saving Cousin Koli”

Father Zia and brothers plan to help him escape the jail. No one knows what has heppened durign the escape plan; there are many versions of the story each of which blame Zia for Cousin Koli’s homelessness, until after thirty years Koli returns to Iran…

“Cousin Farangis”

Father Zia and Farangis were old lovers before his marriage; the shadow of Farangis has always haunted his matrimonial life driving mother to the state of devastation and sorrow. Now after so many years Farangis is back to their life…

“Hazeover”

Mohammad, now a writer that is addicted to Ketamine, is trying to write down his story but he has to host his father who has coem to stay in Tehran during the month fo Ramazan. The narrator recalls university years when he had temporarily married Golnar, a young widow living across the dormitory, and the day he saw his father downstairs Golnar’s apartment…

“Diamond Ring”

Zia takes Mohammad to a desert camp in order to watch the diamond ring together and that’s just the beginning of a series of father-son conflicts. The son, however, finds his own way of resolving the tension…

MT-book2I’m Not Janette: short story collection. Ofoq: 2011

The collection contains seven interwoven short stories whose protagonists are the writer himself: “Butterfly”, “Soaking Wet Dariush”, “Half Tenor of Mohsen”, “Birthday of Reza Deldar-Nick”, “I’m Not Janette”, “Leilaj of Beyoglu” and “The Luminous Road”. The stories cover a wide range of experiences by contemporary Iranian man from immigration, poverty, robbery, addiction and war to love and memory.

“Butterfly”

Mohammad, a poor Tar-player finds a promising job that may let him finally marry his girlfriend Parvaneh. He has to play Tar in the house of Abutorabi, an elderly singer who has just had a hemoroid operation. The girl thinks the job is a fishy excuse for an affair with another woman and starts to chase her man, until one day Abutorabi, in euphoria, tells him of a pretty maid who has just started working in his house…

“Soaking Wet Driush”

Rasht is a city of heavy raining. To avoid rain, the narrator has to stop in front of a bookstore when an old friend joins him and, noticing their voyeurism, thinks there is a love story between the pretty bookseller and Mohammad…

 “Half Tenor of Mohsen”

Mohsen, now in Rome attending his favorite opera, used to be an antique dealer. One day he asks Mohammad to host his girlfried for a day or two, as he has to go on a trip to purchase antique pieces but disappears for good. Together with the girl he gets involved in a well-planned robbery…

 “Birthday of Reza Deldar-Nick”

In the middle of a messed-up proposal on the roof of his girlfriend’s house, and stimulated by a bizarre scent of a deodorant, the narrator travels in time to his childhood memories of poverty and family problems…

 “I’m Not Janette”

Years ago, Mohammad’s granfather used to be a tailor in Paris and in love with a girl named Janette. Six decades later the narrator comes across a girl with the same features on Valiasr Street of Tehran…

“The Leilaj of Beyoğlu”

Mohammad Maniac the invincible backgammon player is trapped in the shabby house of a veteran gambler in Istanbul; he is promised his freedom only after he has played with the best backgammon players of Istanbul but he knows that his final win would mean eternal enchainment…

 “The Luminous Road”

Mohammad is killed by incident during a street fight in Isfahan and now lies on the sink to be washed and buried by a young man who is akin to his old friend Arash, now a screenwriter in Tehran…

MT-book1Fair Wind’s Prey: Novel. Ofoq: 2007

The title of Fair Wind’s Prey alludes to the myth of Iphigenia whom Agamemnon was commanded to kill as a sacrifice so that gods would let his ships sail to Troy. It accounts the life of Manouchehr Mohtasham, a young man living in Rasht during the Second World War in time of the Allies invasion. Because of his political activities before the Coup Manouchehr has to run away and perforce immigrate to Germany.

Written in the first person point of view, the novel opens up to the experiences of young Manouchehr and his futile affection for the neighbor daughter, and gradually familiarizes the reader with the social background set in fire, bloodshed, and assault.

Years later we find Manouchehr in Leipzig in his middle ages living off the party’s meager pension, yearning for homeland and suffering from what he calls a 40-year’s pain. He thinks that he has kissed risky missions goodbye, but all of a sudden he is offered a new mission by the party and a more hazardous dilemma is just to begin for him.