Kader Abdolah Interview *

Good evening.
Good evening, I am Kader Abdolah my house my family, my mother, grave of my father is in Iran but I am living in the Netherlands.  I am a Dutch writer, I write in Dutch, hello.

Could you tell me about the book?
I have written 10 books but one of my books is translated in your language is “My father’s notebook”. In that book I try to tell the story of my father, my father was deaf and dumb he was not able to talk, to hear, to write or to read and he had a dream to have a boy, a boy with two strong ears, boy word maker and he got me.  I discovered that I am writing only and always his story.  “My father’s notebook” is the story of a nation of Iranian people and the story of Dutch people too.

I read your book a few months ago and really enjoyed it. It is a great story and I enjoyed learning more about the history of Iran at that time.
Thank you very much but it’s not only about the history but about the love, about women, about the sad about the old stories about the nature about the fruits about the women, the men everything.  It’s lovely and I am happy you can read it in English and I will write many books to make you happy with my stories.  In my book I am writing about a deaf and dumb father, my father was deaf and dumb I try to write about him but not only about him but about us but not only about us but about them.  I am trying to, struggling to understand who I am and who he was and who you are.  I don’t write about my father but I write about you I take my father as a sample to meet you, you know. Anyway this is a story about human beings about everybody. If you read it you think about your dad your father. If you read it you think about the home the house where you have lived where you were born. It’s your book; I am writing your story not my story.

Towards the end of story you go for a walk on the sand dunes, and you convey a strong sense of loss, it’s the start of something new but with a heavy heart.
Yes, this is the story about the lost, about the start, about the losing; this is the story about the finding, to find new things, struggling to make a new life.  I write in Dutch but it is only struggling, a big beautiful nice struggling to make a new word, new books to met other people to meet you. It’s beautiful to leave your home, house beautiful to escape your country I didn’t know it but I am happy that I escaped, escape my country, wonderful. (I am thinking of leaving this question out??)

 Dutch isn’t your first language, your first language is?

My first language is Persian, Dutch is my writing language.  Seventeen years ago I escaped my country and I reached a city, Amsterdam; I stayed there; I started to change my life.  I took the Dutch language and I am writing in Dutch, now I am a new Dutch writer I have written ten books in that beautiful language.  That vet, vindy language! But now I have more books 100’s of books but I hope that I get old to write all of those books down.

Do you consider Amsterdam home?
Not Amsterdam or the Netherlands the Dutch language is my house. I feel at home in the Dutch language, Dutch language is my house, I feel home.

Related links/more information:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eYfCTDidqI – Literature as resistance: A lecture by the Dutch-Iranian Author ( UC BerkeleyEvents).

*Interview conducted during the 2006 Edinburgh International book festival, (2/5).