Jalal Al-e Ahmad
Jalal Al-e Ahmad was born to a clerical religious family in Tehran in 1923. A teacher all his life, he joined the Communist Tudeh Party in 1943 and quickly rose through its ranks, becoming a member of the party committee for Tehran, before breaking with the Tudeh in 1947 in protest over Soviet influence. Al-e Ahmad was an influential and prolific writer and social critic, whose body of work includes short stories, notably the collection An Exchange of Visits; novels including By the Pen, The School Principal, and A Stone on a Grave; travelogues including A Straw in Mecca, A Journey to Russia, and A Journey to America; anthropological studies; essays; reviews; and translations. His best known work is Gharbzadegi (Occidentosis), which has also been translated to English as Weststruckness and Westoxification, a cultural critique of Westernization in Iran. In 2013, Restless Books published his polemical work based on his journey to Israel as The Israeli Republic. Al-e Ahmad was married to the novelist and translator Simin Daneshvar; the couple had no children. He died in 1969.