Samad Behrangi — the author of The Little Black Fish — was no more than a teacher in one of the villages in the Azeri region of Iran, but after writing this book and later through the nature of his death, he became a legend and a symbol of political struggle for decades. Eventually however, he was recognized as a literary figure and the merits of his works came out of the shadow of politics.
He drowned when swimming in a local river in 1967 at the age of 28. In those years some left-wing intellectuals ascribed his drowning to the government of the time. Gradually his name and The Little Black Fish made their way into the world of literature and thus the author and the work became legends. Back then, a great number of stories similar to The Little Black Fish were written and published.
After several years, the publication of some letters from certain Iranian intellectuals revealed that Samad Behrangi’s death could not be blamed on the government. In one of these letters, the writer confided in his friend that they needed a martyr for the cause and so they martyrised Samad.
Years have passed since then. Samad the author is no longer hidden beneath the shadow of Samad the dissident and both of them stand side by side in the thoughts of generations of Iranians and some of the neighbouring countries of Iran.