Censoring An Iranian Love Story

Censoring An Iranian Love Story

A Novel

Book - 2009 | 1st ed
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From one of Iran's most acclaimed and controversial contemporary writers, his first novel to appear in English--a dazzlingly inventive work of fiction that opens a revelatory window onto what it's like to live, to love, and to be an artist in today's Iran.

The novel entwines two equally powerful narratives. A writer named Shahriar--the author's fictional alter ego--has struggled for years against the all-powerful censor at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Now, on the threshold of fifty, tired of writing dark and bitter stories, he has come to realize that the "world around us has enough death and destruction and sorrow." He sets out instead to write a bewitching love story, one set in present-day Iran. It may be his greatest challenge yet.

Beautiful black-haired Sara and fiercely proud Dara fall in love in the dusty stacks of the library, where they pass secret messages to each other encoded in the pages of their favorite books. But Iran's Campaign Against Social Corruption forbids their being alone together. Defying the state and their disapproving parents, they meet in secret amid the bustling streets, Internet cafés, and lush private gardens of Tehran.

Yet writing freely of Sara and Dara's encounters, their desires, would put Shahriar in as much peril as his lovers. Thus we read not just the scenes Shahriar has written but also the sentences and words he's crossed out or merely imagined, knowing they can never be published.

Laced with surprising humor and irony, at once provocative and deeply moving, Censoring an Iranian Love Story takes us unforgettably to the heart of one of the world's most alluring yet least understood cultures. It is an ingenious, wholly original novel--a literary tour de force that is a triumph of art and spirit.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307269782
Branch Call Number: MANDA
Characteristics: 295 p. ; 25 cm.


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lbarkema Jun 19, 2014

I didn't hate it by any means, but neither did I absolutely love it. The reason why I couldn't love it was because of how confusing I found it at times, and I wasn't able to read it at a faster pace- it took me quite a while to finish. The way in which the book is written is interesting and unique and I appreciated that, but ultimately the ending of it did not satisfy me. I definitely enjoyed learning more about Iranian history and a culture that I know little about. I probably wouldn't really recommend it to many people because I believe it takes a certain kind-of person to really enjoy this entire novel for what it is, and I wasn't that kind-of person.

StratfordLibrary Mar 22, 2013

Blind Date With A Book comment: 'for me, the author kept getting in the way, so it was a laborious read. I imagine, though, it's laborious as well for Iranian would-be lovers to get to the end of their own stories."

kturz Aug 05, 2009

This book was an awesome exploration of a writer's relationship with his craft and country. It's the epitome of "meta"...a book about writing a book.

I just wish I knew more about Iranian culture, legends, and literature; I felt like many references soared over my head!

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