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Censoring an Iranian Love Story

Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour
Jun 01, 2010 | 304 Pages
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  • Paperback $15.95

    Jun 01, 2010 | 304 Pages

  • Ebook $4.99

    May 05, 2009 | 304 Pages

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One of the Best Debuts of 2009 — NPR
A New Yorker Best Book of the Year

“Exciting. . . . Powerful. . . . Mandanipour’s writing is exuberant, bonhomous, clever, profuse with puns and literary-political references.” —James Wood, The New Yorker
“A clever Rubik’s Cube of a story, [and] a haunting portrait of life in the Islamic Republic of Iran. . . . An Escher-like meditation on the interplay of life and art, reality and fiction. . . . At its best, Censoring an Iranian Love Story becomes a Kundera-like rumination on philosophy and politics [that] playfully investigates the possibilities and limits of storytelling.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“A love story that is convincingly, achingly impossible in a place where men and women cannot even look at each other in public. The effect (as every good Victorian understood) is deliriously sensual prose. . . . Mandanipour has triumphed.” —Los Angeles Times
“Wry, playful. . . . Reminiscent of Milan Kundera, this is a lively account of life and letters in contemporary Iran.” —Financial Times

“In this brilliantly conceived and cleverly written novel, characters and author together and separately act and write with sly purpose, disguising and disavowing their subversive ends—to live, love, and create in today’s repressive Iranian society.” —The Boston Globe
“Devious and engaging. . . . A droll, even cheerful portrait of totalitarian craziness.” —Bloomberg News
“Not your typical love story. . . . A meditation on culture, modern Iran, and the power of what is left out. . . . By the end of this witty, hyper-intelligent riff on life under a repressive regime, the writer has demonstrated the mental and emotional contortions necessary to survive.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Telling amorous tales in post-Islamic-revolution Iran is tricky, if not downright dangerous, but [Mandanipour] is up to the task. . . . And as much as humor dominates the book, it quietly gets at something else—the omnipotence of tyranny.” —The Miami Herald
“A very special novel—a passionate, inventive and humorous exposure of the stupidity and cruelty of a society ruled by fear.” —The Times (London) 
“Neither sentimental nor nostalgic, romanticized nor demonized. Looking at his country and its inhabitants through a fiction writer’s authentic spectacles, Mandanipour has written a novel that is witty, smart, funny, and honest. It is an important book for our times.” —Rabih Alameddine, author of The Hakawati

“A brilliant novel about the complexities of writing and publishing in Iran. It will help to further understanding of the frustrating and sometimes perilous situation of the book industry in a country where copyright is not respected, where writers struggle desperately to publish and can be jailed simply for exercising their imaginations.” —The Guardian (London)
“Anything but traditional. . . . A Farsi Fahrenheit 451, written by a postmodern Beckett. . . . In this Iranian setting, love comes not through happy endings but the unwritten text.” —Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)
“Rich and riveting. . . . Reminiscent of Mario Vargas Llosa’s Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and Italo Calvino’s If on a Winters Night a Traveller. . . . [Mandanipour has] the potential to create a genre of Persian literature that could breach the gap in literary sensibilities that separates readers from vastly different traditions.” —The Irish Times
“Filled with marvels and revolutions, political absurdity, and cinematic exploration, Censoring an Iranian Love Story is much more than a fractured love story. It’s a conversation with art, tyranny, and morality, a syncopated meditation on popular culture and ancient history. Shahriar Mandanipour’s wonderful, digressive novel shimmers with the power of the unwritten, the suggested, and the excised. . . . An exciting and original work—a beautiful novel.” —Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Crescent
“The ancient poets conjured eroticism in terms of flowers and ripe fruits, but how can lovers express themselves in modern Iran? This is Mandanipour’s question as he searches to unite his smitten characters—characters who, unnervingly, seem to have ideas of their own. . . . This important, timely novel is sharp, playful and zesty with life.” —Daily Mail (London)
“A powerful, provocative and timely novel.” —The Observer (London)
“I absolutely loved Censoring an Iranian Love Story. Insightful and sensual, humorous and sly, allegorical and literary, it is an endless pleasure: a celebration of love and the written word from a part of the world where both still matter.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan

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