Sadeq Chubak
Iraj Bashiri

Copyright (c) Iraj Bashiri, 1999

Sadeq Chubak was born in 1916, in the town of Bushire on the Persian Gulf. His father was a bazaari merchant. He grew up in Bushire and Shiraz where he received his early education. Later on he went to Tehran and attended the Alborz College. After college, employed by the Ministry of Education as a teacher, he went to Khorramshahr. He also served a year in the army (1937) as a private and later on as a cadet working in the English translation section. Between 1945, when his writing career began, and 1974, when he went into early retirement, he worked as a librarian for the National Iranian Oil Company.

Chubak's first Collection of Short Stories is called Kheymeh Shab Bazi (The Puppet Show). Unlike Jamalzadeh's first work of fiction, , when the collection appeared in 1945, it was received quite favorably by the critics. Kheymeh Shab Bazi is indicative of Chubak's keen insight into the inner motives of human behavior.

In 1949, Chubak published his second collection called, Antari Ke Lutiyash Murdeh Bud (The Baboon Whose Buffoon Was Dead). Then there was a gap of some fifteen years before Ruze Avval-i Qabr (The First Day in the Grave) and (The Last Alms) were published in 1965 and 1966, respectively.

Chubak's retirement coincided with the onset of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. An atheist since early childhood, he found living in the Islamic Republic difficult. In 1974, therefore, he moved to London, England, first and then to the United States where he picked up residence in California to write his memoirs. Sadeq Chubak died in July 1998 in a hospital at Berkeley, United States.

Chubak drew on his ethnic and linguistic background to create unforgettable scenes in both his major novels, Tangsir (1963) and Sang-i Sabur (1966). Similarly important for his creative spirit was the inspiration he received from the works of Sadeq Hedayat, Ernest Hemmingway, William Faulkner, and Henry James.

Chubak's writing style is unique in that he uses a minimum of words for the expression of major concepts. Furthermore, he combines originality with mastery in the use of the colloquial language, especially the speech of the natives of the southern provinces of Iran.

Chubak has translated Shakespear's Othello, Roland's La Fin du Voyage, and Balzac's Le Pre Goriot into Persian.

See also:
The Baboon Whose Buffoon Was Dead
The Oil Seller

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