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I am passionate about the written language. I love writing, reading, reviewing, selling and promoting books. I am an independent bookseller with over 20 years of experience in the book trade. Together with my partners, I actively aim to improve our bookstore's range and services to better reflect the needs of our community and clientele. In 2008, my memoir 'Under A Starless Sky' was published by Hachette, Australia. Since then, I had a short story 'Jasmine Petals' published in 'Stories of Belonging' (Finch) and in 2013, released my first full-length novel, The Russian Tapestry, also by Hachette. I am currently writing my second novel. I strive daily to improve my skills and stretch the limits of my craft. My love of books has naturally lead to reviewing. You can follow me on Twitter @B_Serov, Facebook www.facebook.com/BanafshehSerov and Goodreads www.goodreads.com/author/show/1429016.Banafsheh_Serov

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Censoring An Iranian Love Story - Shahriar Mandanipour

Censoring An Iranian Love Story
Shahriar Mandanipour
Little Brown

It's no easy feat writing a love story at the best of times. It is doubly hard if you are an Iranian writer hoping to have your book published in the Islamic Republic. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance take a serious view towards protecting the Iranian people from illicit phrases that may lead their thoughts and imaginations astray. This is the challenge the narrator of the book faces as he weaves the relationship between two young lovers Dara and Sara.

Woven in between the love story and the daily frustrations of the narrator, are subplots that draw the reader into the poetry and stories deeply rooted in the Persion mythology. At times these subplots work, at times they become confusing. This could be the fault of the translation - this book was originally written in Farsi- or it could be because some things lose their original meaning once translated.

Censoring An Iranian Love Story is at times darkly comic, at times disturbing and at times a frustrating read. It's a satirical sketch of the hypocracy the authorities perpetrate to maintain a public image of protecting the Iranians who may otherwise fall prey to impure thoughts. I found the ending disappointingly unsatisfactory but otherwise Censoring an Iranian Love Story, is an interesting meditation of modern life in Iran.

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