Our book for January 2013 in Silver Spring is The Blind Owl by Sadegah Hedayat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadegh_Hedayat), his 1937 novel written, in Persian, during the oppressive latter years of the Great King-Reza Shah of Iran's rule.
The novel tells the story of an unnamed pen case painter, the narrator, who sees in his macabre, feverish nightmares that "the presence of death annihilates all that is imaginary. We are the offspring of death and death delivers us from the tantalizing, fraudulent attractions of life; it is death that beckons us from the depths of life. If at times we come to a halt, we do so to hear the call of death... Throughout our lives, the finger of death points at us." The narrator addresses his murderous confessions to the shadow on his wall resembling an owl. His confessions do not follow a linear progression of events and often repeat and layer themselves thematically, thus lending to the open-ended nature of interpretation of the story.