Strange Times, My Dear

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A rich and varied collection of contemporary short stories, extracts from novels, and poetry that showcases the latest developments in Iranian literature.
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A rich and varied collection of contemporary short stories, extracts from novels, and poetry that showcases the latest developments in Iranian literature.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of short stories and poetry by Iranian writers highlights literary contributions from this culturally rich part of the world. An engaging but also disturbing picture of dangerous times in Iran during the late 1970s and 1980s, the book tackles controversial issues, ranging from religious freedom to misogyny to revolution to the oil trade. As compelling as their stories, the writers are an eclectic mix: a good balance of male and female, including various scholars, a former judge, a filmmaker, political activists, and artists. Among them are Hushing Golshirir ("The Victory Chronicle of the Magi"), imprisoned because one of his novels was perceived to be critical of the Shah of Iran. Moniru Ravanipur's unsettling "Satan's Stones" reminds the reader of the cost of pursuing purity. Ravanipur gently reminds the reader that such acts remain very much a part of cultures around the world. Literature from this region of the world is hard to come by, and this collection of prose and poetry is both timely and well written. Recommended for academic and public libraries, as it will add diversity to any collection.-Valeda F. Dent, Hunter Coll., New York Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"They smell your breath lest you have said 'I love you.' "For many reasons, world audiences have had little opportunity to examine the work of Iranian poets, novelists, essayists and playwrights since the 1979 revolution. For one, writers under the Islamic theocracy are closely monitored; while, strangely, filmmakers have been able to introduce all manner of metaphor and allegory into their work, the censors parse literary work much more exactly, even if some surprising bits of subversion sneak through. For another, competent translations have been few. And for yet another, since they're denied opportunities for cultural exchange, Iranian writers have been kept apart from world literary trends. The work contained in this ambitious anthology tends, in that regard, to a certain flat realism, almost reportage. (An exception is the exiled writer Shahrnush Parsipur, whom editor Mozaffari calls "a proponent of an Iranian magical realism.") And there are plenty of real matters to record: Hushang Golshiri's memorable story "The Victory Chronicle of the Magi," for instance, touches on religious repression, public executions, corruption and resistance in the space of a few pages. ("Revolution?" one of his characters remarks. "This is more like vomiting one's guts. Like taking a knife and sticking it into your own belly, then pulling out your innards and crying out, 'Come and see.' ") Similarly, Mahmud Dowlatabadi's evocative story "The Mirror," in which a man seeks to replace a long-lost identity card and sheds the last of his own identity in the process, is an unveiled piece of political criticism, though foremost a work of art. The fine poet Ahmad Shamlu, from whose work the collection takes itstitle, writes, "The man who knocks at your door in the noon of the night / has come to kill the light. / Let's hide light in the larder." It seems remarkable that these writers have escaped the wrath of the authorities, given their candor. A diverse sampling of contemporary Iranian letters, and a welcome tool for anyone seeking to understand a complex culture that has long been explained away as The Enemy. First printing of 30,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611452327
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nahid Mozaffari earned her Ph.D. in history and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University. She has taught Middle Eastern history at the New School in New York and at Cabot University in Rome.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : Nahid Mozaffari
The mirror 4
The victory chronicle of the Magi 11
Excerpt from Scorched earth 38
Excerpt from Sorraya in a coma 61
Ask the migrating birds 82
The eyes won't take it 89
The grocer of Kharzeville 93
Delayed consequences of the revolution 105
Excerpt from The book of absent people 116
Excerpt from Women without men 144
Satan's stones 157
Ah, Istanbul 169
Mahbubeh and the demon Ahl 189
In another place 216
Hitchcock and Agha Baji 272
A little secret 292
A room full of dust 313
Excerpt from The trial 325
First love 334
Shatter the stone tooth 342
White rock 354
Peace of night 360
Introduction 365
In this blind alley 37221
Love song 37321 E
37421 Morn
37521 A man w
37821 I write
37921 If the
38021 And beh
38121 It's ti
38221 I love
38421 Lyrical
39021 Outland
39021 An allu
39321 Bad boy
39321 An spri
39621 Poetry
40021 Poetry
40021 Prayer
40121 A woman
40521 Visitat
40521 Miniatu
40821 The ter
40921 The gre
41121 Martyr'
41321 Tomb of
41321 Labial
41421 Labial
41421 In the
41721 From th
42321 Requiem
42721 Brands
42721 I am hu
43121 Amorous
43521 Wednesd
43721 Wakeful
43721 I must
44021 The rep
44321 The lit
44521 Saturda
44821 A bird
44921 The ax
45221 Afghan
45221 The sal
45321 Selecti
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2005


    This is an important peice of literature for all Americans. First and foremost these writers are artists and they are artists who deserve to be heard. They have also been sensored by their own government and our own. The story of how this book almost didn't get published is almost as interesting as its content. The editors each write excellent introductions to their sections (fiction and poetry). Reading this work may just make you want to delve into a country that has an ancient and rich literary history, first as Persia and now as a country we sometimes only see as part of the axis of evil. Get a glimpse, no, get a good hard look at the people of Iran. These are a people with a face other than tyranny. 'Strange Times, My Dear' gives you an opportunity you may not have had before.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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