Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Dutch
Translated from: Dutch
Authors: Abdolah, Kader
Translated by: Mumėnaitė, Birutė
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Kader Abdolah, Het van del moskee, De Geus, The Netherlands, 2008

ISBN: 9789955233794
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2010
Publisher: Baltos lankos

The story begins well in July 1969.The hereditary owners of the town’s congregational mosque occupy a large, old house. The best passage shows how the modernising autocracy of Shah Mohammed Reza – brutal, cynical, in a desperate hurry – all but overran even traditional Iranian towns in the first half of the 1970s. In the revolution of 1979, mosque house come painfully to grief. The Shah is losing his hold on power; the Ayatollah Khomeini incites rebellion from his exile in France; and one day the Ayatollah returns—the consequences of which will be felt in every corner of Mosque house. Ingenious, but complacent in their habits and religion, they are no match for the rough customers of the revolution.

The House of the Mosque was first published in 2005 in the Netherlands, where the author has been a political refugee since 1988.  In spite of its intense themes, it is a pleasure to read. The pre-revolution part of the story is almost a fairy tale, funny and innocent, told in simple language. The second part reads like a fast-paced crime novel with terse language and violent scenes. Het huis van de moskee (The House of the Mosque) catapulted Abdolah onto the Dutch bestseller lists. It was voted second best Dutch novel ever in the Netherlands. The English translation was released worldwide in January 2010.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU