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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Review: "Censoring an Iranian Love Story"

In what now reads like an eerie echo of the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, a young Iranian woman cut down by a bullet during this month’s election protests and captured on video, the Iranian author of this new novel foresees the possible death of his heroine in the streets of Tehran: “The girl does not know that in precisely seven minutes and seven seconds, at the height of the clash between the students, the police, and the members of the Party of God, in the chaos of attacks and escapes, she will be knocked into with great force, she will fall back, her head will hit against a cement edge, and her sad Oriental eyes will forever close.”

Her fellow students, “aware that they are about to be attacked, break into a heartrending anthem: My fellow schoolmate, you are with me and beside me, ... you are my tear and my sigh, ... the scars of the lashes of tyranny rest on our bodies.”

“Censoring an Iranian Love Story” by Shahriar Mandanipour — an Iranian writer who is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard — is, at once, a novel about two young Iranians trying to conduct a covert romance in Tehran; a postmodern account of the efforts of their creator — or his fictional alter ego — to grapple with the harsh censorship rules of his homeland; and an Escher-like meditation on the interplay of life and art, reality and fiction.

link: Books of The Times - In Shahriar Mandanipour’s ‘Censoring an Iranian Love Story,’ Romance Requires Courage - Review -


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