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U.S. Publishers sought for Iranian literary works

In an effort to encourage and increase the diversity of literary works being published in the U.S., the International Freedom to Publish Committee of the Association of American Publishers is offering U.S. publishers a unique opportunity to bring the work of three gifted Iranian authors to an American audience.

The Committee, in consultation with a distinguished group of scholars and writers in the U.S. and Iran, selected three contemporary Iranian novels and commissioned partial translations and a precis of each. The novels are The Drowned by Moniru Ravanipur (translated by M.R. Ghanoonparvar), The Empty Palace of Soluch by Mahmoud Dawlatabadi (translated by Judith M. Wilks), and Christine and Kid by Houshang Golshiri (translated by Roxanne Zand). To support U.S. publication of the works, the Committee has secured funding that will provide $10,000 to the U.S. publisher contracting for English language rights for each work, half of which would be used for further costs of translation and half to be used for promotion and publicity.

In making the announcement, the IFTP Committee noted that although there has been some confusion regarding U.S. government regulation of publishing activities involving Iran and other countries under U.S. trade embargo (and indeed publishers and authors have filed suit challenging the government's assertion of any licensing authority with respect to publishing activities), a clarification issued on December 15, 2004 by the Treasury Department seems to indicate that whatever the outcome of the lawsuit U.S. publishers would not need to seek government permission to publish the type of work being discussed in their announcement.

Interested publishers should contact Charlotte Sheedy at The Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency, 65 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012, to obtain the sample materials and, if necessary, the original text. Ms. Sheedy is conducting negotiations on behalf of the authors on a pro bono basis.

The AAP International Freedom to Publish Committee, founded in 1975, was one of the first groups in the world formed specifically to defend and broaden the freedom of the written word and to protect and promote the rights of book publishers and authors around the world. Among its activities, the committee monitors and publicizes free-expression issues around the world, sends fact-finding missions to countries where free expression is under siege, lobbies both at home and overseas on behalf of persecuted book publishers, and offers moral support and practical assistance to threatened publishers abroad.

The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP's approximately three hundred members include most of the major commercial book publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and nonprofit publishers, university presses, and scholarly societies. The defense of intellectual freedom at home and freedom of expression worldwide, the protection of intellectual property rights in all media, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the association's primary concerns.

Contact: Judith Platt
Ph: 202-220-4551

... Payvand News - 12/21/04 ... --

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