22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Seyyed Ali Shodjaie

Portrait Seyyed Ali Shodjaie
© Ali Ghandtschi

Seyyed Ali Shodjaie was born in 1983 in Teheran. He studied industrial engineering there and now holds the position of deputy head of the Neyestan publishing house, which is based in Teheran.

In addition to his publishing work, Shodjaie is also an author. He has released two novels to date, »Season of Love for Leilas« (2011) and »H.S.N. « (2013). However, he has also published three volumes of short prose, respectively titled »The Stars are not far« (2008), »Love at the Time of Epigraphs« (2010) and »Angels have no Stories« (2012), as well as »What if the Snowman wouldn’t melt?« (2010) and »Half Man Horn« (2012) – two picture books. The only one of these to appear in German to date is »What if the Snowman wouldn’t melt? «. This illustrated story tells the tale of a snowman built by the children in a village from the very first snow of the winter. It soon becomes apparent that the snowman is a dictator who orders the village inhabitants around and gets rid of the seasons. Quietly illustrated using matt tones, this story are an intelligent and critical examination of the relationship between power and powerlessness. The potentially explosive nature of the story becomes apparent against the backdrop of the current political developments in Iran. Taking into consideration the period in which the book was written, shortly after the presidential elections in 2009, the results of which led to massive protests, the book is revealed to have many levels of content at which it can be read as a biting commentary. »What if the Snowman wouldn’t melt? « is suitable for young readers, but not only for that age group. The book is also something special in publishing terms: The Iranian picture book market enjoys hardly any presence at all in the German-speaking region. That makes it even more of a joy when one of the many remarkable Iranian books manages the overcome to translation hurdle. Hardly any compromises were made for the German-speaking readers: the German translation has to be read from the back page to the front, just like the Persian original. Furthermore, the German edition was released as a bilingual Persian-German text. The book received the Book Season Award (2009), the Quaranic Tales Award (2011) and the Children’s Book Award (2011) in Iran. In Germany, »What if the Snowman wouldn’t melt? « was selected as book of the month by the Academy of Children’s and Youth Literature in 2013. Seyyed Ali Shodjaie lives with his wife in Teheran.