Kader Abdolah is the pen name of Hossein Sadjadi Ghaemmaghami Farahani, taken from the names of two executed friends. He published two novels about life under the Khomeini regime before fleeing Iran in 1985. After settling in the Netherlands three years later, he quickly mastered Dutch and started writing in it. He debuted with De adelaars (Eagles, 1993), a collection of short stories, which earned him the Golden Dog-Ear Award for the best-sold debut of the year. He has since published the short-story collection De meisjes en de partizanen (The Girls and the Partisans, 1995) and the novels De reis van de lege flessen (The Journey of the Empty Bottles, 1997), Spijkerschrift (Cuneiform, 2000), which was awarded the E. du Perron Prize, and Het huis van de moskee (The House of the Mosque, 2006). In 2008 he published De boodschapper (The Messenger), about the prophet Mohammed, and an alternative translation of the Koran underlining a more moderate and ‘human’ Islam. His most recent novel in translation, The King, was published in 2014. Abdolah’s work has been published in more than 20 languages.
Thanks to the Dutch Foundation for Literature for their support
Image courtesy of Roy Tee