On a strategic hill overlooking the frontier, Iraqi and Iranian
troops battle for access to a water tank. The troops are thirsty
and on the brink of madness. They are, moreover, characters in a novel being written by an Iraqi journalist. That is, if he is given the chance to write it, a chance denied him by an Iraqi
major who is in charge of a military prison and commands the journalist to write a fictitious report about a murder in the camp in the hope of demoralizing enemy soldiers.
At the same time, on the other side of the border, an Iranian author writes the story of the same troop of soldiers but from an Iranian perspective. He, likewise, is interrupted, not by external forces, but by memories of his first encounter with a gun…
Told in a kaleidoscopic style that weaves between the ongoing battle and the struggles of the writers, Thirst is rich with dark humour and surreal images. The emphasis on maintaining humanity and individual identity during war shows, once again, why Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is the most important Iranian writer of the last century.
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is one of the most prominent Iranian novelist of his generation. His novels include Kelidar (1999), Soluk (2005), Missing Soluch (1979) and The Colonel, which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2011.
'Mr. Dowlatabadi draws a detailed, realist picture of Iranian life, especially that of the rural poor, in language that is complex and lyrical, rather than simplistic.' - The Financial Times
'It's about time everyone even remotely interested in Iran read this novel.' - The Independent