F. Springer

Tehran: A Swan Song

A moving love story during the 1979 Iran revolution

One of the most international of Dutch authors – earning comparison to Graham Greene for both his international settings and the clarity of his style – Springer has a cool eye for his characters’ weaknesses. A typical Springer novel presents these failings with humour and mild irony, using a major political upheaval as a setting.

This novel tells the story of Toby Harrison, the author of a series of popular histories that rely on fantasy and jokes rather than facts. Convinced he’s landed the biggest fish of his career, Harrison travels to Iran to write a family history for the Shah.

Springer gives an insider’s account of the origins of the Islamic Revolution, describing the old regime’s bureaucrats, the Western hangers-on gathered at the Hilton and the Shah himself. As the dark ages descend on Tehran, Harrison’s infat- uation with his secretary, Patricia Jahanbari, the embodiment of the modern secular Iran of the 1970s, propels him and the book to a crushing, dismal ending. This abrupt swing from comedy to tragedy is vintage Springer.

  • Full German translation by Helga van Beuningen available.

F. Springer

F. Springer (1932 - 2011), one of the best-loved narrators in Dutch literature, is the pseudonym of Carel Jan Schneider. As a diplomat and administrator for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Schneider travelled all over the world. All his postings – New Guinea, New York, Bangkok, Brussels, Dhaka…

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Teheran. Een zwanenzang (1991). Fiction, 376 pages.
Words: 120,000

Themes: diplomacy classic


Dutch Classics



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