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.