Bahman 5 1401 - January 25 2023
Book: Necessary Illusions

We use the toolbox of the mind to uncover the secrets of existence, the meaning of life, and our purpose and place in the universe. What tool do we have to investigate the nature of the mind; surely not the mind itself. Can the mind be its own witness to testify for its legitimacy? What judge would consider such testimony convincing enough to vindicate the claimant? - Kambiz Zarrabi 12/31/21

Persian poet Rudaki product of Samanids' economic, cultural boom, litterateur says

Rudaki expert Neder Karimian says that the poet who is considered as the father of Persian poetry is the product of the economic and cultural boom and the political splendor Iran experienced during the Samanid dynasty over a millennium ago. Speaking during a meeting organized on Saturday at Tehran's Vahdat Hall to celebrate Rudaki's birthday, he said, "The period can be considered one of the most important periods of history, during which Iran witnessed a scientific and historical renaissance." -Tehran Times 12/27/21

An Earthquake Has Broken Tehran, but She's Looking for a Different Fix

When Mahsa Mohebali's novel "In Case of Emergency" was first published in Iran in 2008, its antic portrait of a mind and a city on edge ruffled pious sensibilities. Written Farsi, like Arabic, is an ornate, almost courtly language, and the book's use of colloquial slang struck many critics as libertine and louche - certainly unliterary. -Negar Azimi, New York Times 12/1/21

Review: 'Titan of Tehran' uniquely blends history, memories

When most of us get curious about our family history, we pay a visit to Shahrzad Elghanayan is not most of us. She is the granddaughter of Habib Elghanian, arguably one of the most famous Iranian industrialists of all time, whose rise and fall mirrored that of his homeland. She's also an award-winning photo journalist, trained to recognize a good story when she sees one. -AP 11/23/21

Illustrated Book Profiles 15 Trailblazing Women with Roots in Iran

This gorgeous book by Yasmine Mahdavi introduces readers (ages 12+) to fifteen incredible women with Roots in Iran. In their biographies, readers will find athletes and artists, scientists and activists, astronauts and authors whose struggles are universal. Yet they persevered. Roots in Iran celebrates the achievements of transformative pioneers whose vision of who they wanted to become will surprise and inspire readers of all ages. 10/15/21

SAMAK THE AYYAR: A Tale of Ancient Persia

The adventures of Samak, a trickster-warrior hero of Persia's thousand-year-old oral storytelling tradition, are beloved in Iran. Samak is an ayyar, a warrior who comes from the common people and embodies the ideals of loyalty, selflessness, and honor-a figure that recalls samurai, ronin, and knights yet is distinctive to Persian legend. -Farhang Foundation 9/29/21

PEN America To Honor Three Imprisoned Iranian Writers And Free Expression Advocates At Gala

This year, PEN America is honoring imprisoned Iranian writers Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi with the 2021 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. These celebrated writers who have been imprisoned by the Iranian authorities for their writing, their defense of free expression, and their peaceful opposition to state censorship. -PEN America 9/17/21

How Tuti-nama, an animal fable commissioned by Akbar, sheds light on the art, clothing, culture and people of its time

The paintings of the Tuti-nama depict scenes from the 52 stories told on successive nights by a pet parrot to beguile Khujasta, the wife of his owner, through the night so that she would be too enthralled to leave home to meet her lover and succumb to an adulterous affair. -Firstpost 7/19/21

Continuity and Creativity in Persian Poetry

Poetry plays a significant part in Iranian culture, from centuries ago up to today, and the continuity of Persian poetry, as well as the language, is one of the threads that is picked up in the Epic Iran exhibition. In this webinar, Prof. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak will delve into some of the detail of Persian poetry and how it has evolved, before then discussing it with Narguess Farzad. -Iran Heritage Foundation 7/6/21

Roses from Shiraz: German devotees of Hafez

For centuries, the great classical Persian author Hafez has inspired German writers. Translations, adaptions and homages have been created in his wake, and the process continues today. Nasser Kanani has published an expansive book on Hafez' German devotees. -Gerrit Wustmann, Qantara 6/18/21

Olivia Abtahi's Perfectly Parvin

In her debut novel, Perfectly Parvin, author Olivia Abtahi tells the story of 14-year-old Parvin Mohammadi, a second-generation Iranian American who navigates the trials of adolescence with the added complexity of growing up with different cultures. Growing up in the U.S. with an Iranian father and an Argentine mother, Abtahi herself is a reflection of the increasingly diverse Iranian diaspora. 6/7/21

From historic boutique houses to secluded oases

The world's first book about hotels in Iran reveals the country's charming, beautiful and welcoming places to stay. Persian Nights - Amazing Boutique Hotels & Guesthouses in Iran is authored by traveller Thomas Wegmann. 16 hotels and guesthouses are showcased in the book, from Tehran in the north to Qeshm Island in the south. 'I didn't think that Iran had so many charming boutique hotels with beautiful rooms,' Wegmann revealed. -Daily Mail 5/20/21

Photos: Tombs of Iranian poets Sa'di, Hafez during Norooz holidays

The tombs of Sa'di and Hafez in Shiraz, two famous poets of Iranian poetry and literature, are two of the top tourists destinations in Iran. Every year the tombs are visited by a great number of enthusiasts and tourists during Persian New Year holidays. -Amin Berenjkar, Mehr 3/25/21

Banned books, forbidden topics: Some writers aim to smuggle what Iran censors

The members of this particular online book club spent zero time talking about literature per se, instead focusing on how to smuggle banned writings into Iran. Prospective readers, the members said, should not have to worry about authorities in the Islamic Republic obtaining their personal information. They should have the freedom to choose what books they want to read. -Melissa Etehad, Los Angeles Times 3/8/21

Zoom Webinar: Beholding Beauty: Sa'di of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry

Professor Domenico Ingenito discusses his new book Beholding Beauty: Sa'di of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry (Brill, December 2020). The book explores the relationship between sexuality, politics, and spirituality in the lyrics of Sa'di Shirazi (d. 1282 CE), one of the most revered masters of classical Persian literature. -Stanford University 2/2/21

Publication of 'Studies in Ancient Persia and the Achaemenid Period'

The Iran Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce the recent publication of a book entitled Studies in Ancient Persia and the Achaemenid Period, edited by John Curtis, the Academic Director of IHF. The book is published by James Clarke & Co and has been sponsored by IHF. 1/28/21

Yale Program in Iranian Studies - Spring 2021 Iran Colloquium

The Iran Colloquium is a forum of the Yale Program in Iranian Studies, directed by Professor Abbas Amanat. Currently in its 13th year, the Iran Colloquium provides a platform for scholars (and some practitioners) in fields related to Iran, Persian and Persianate studies to share their scholarship and other work with the Yale community. 1/26/21

Mahmud Kianush obituary

Mahmud Kianush, who has died aged 86, was an Iranian poet, writer and translator who had lived and worked in London since 1974. He played an important role in introducing English literature to Iranians and also translated many modern Iranian poems into English. He was a close friend of my family and translator of my late father's poetry into English. -Negeen Zohari, Guardian 1/25/21

The Persian poetry of mathematics: From Omar Khayyam to Mirzakhani - Iran's beautiful minds

Presenting a more nuanced vision of their common homeland, Iran, to Western imaginations, kindred spirits Omar Khayyam and Maryam Mizrakhani stand out against the twenty-first century backdrop of anti-Iranian sentiment and Islamophobia. -Hamid Dabashi, 1/21/21

Five Farsi novels and their impact on Iranian pop culture

Thinking of novels about Iran, the first titles that spring to mind might be "Persepolis", "Reading Lolita in Tehran" or "Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America". Internationally acclaimed books they may be, yet few will have heard of them inside the Islamic Republic. Changiz M. Varzi selects some seminal modern works penned in Farsi -Changiz M. Varzi, Qantara 12/24/20

Literature-loving Iranian women read more books than men

French authors Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir rub shoulders with the likes of Jewish diarist Anne Frank and Russian poet Osip Mandelstam in Tehran bookstores where the largely female readership lap up foreign writers. "Iranian women read more, translate more and write more. In general, they are more present in the book market than men," said Nargez Mossavat, editorial director of Sales publishers. -AFP 12/23/20

Three members of the Writers Association of Iran sent to prison

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bajan, three members of the Writers' Association of Iran, were summoned to the Evin Prison Prosecutor's Office on Saturday and transferred to evin prison to serve their sentences. These three have been convicted to a total of 15 years and 6 months in prison by the appeal court. 9/30/20

A naked image of the truth

Iran's capital city, Tehran, is firmly in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic. The cultural scene is suffering because of it too. But in the face of adversity and the often arbitrary interventions by the censor, books are still being published - such as the diaries of David Rubinowicz, who was murdered by the Nazis. Mahmoud Hosseini Zad translated the book. He spoke to Gerrit Wustmann about his work and the current situation in Iran -Qantara 9/25/20

Jacqueline Saper's "From Miniskirt to Hijab" is a story for our times

As Jacqueline Saper shopped for a gift for her husband on a sunny Tehran boulevard in 1979, she had no idea that she was about to witness history. The young Iranian wife had already lived through events that seemed to shift the earth on its axis. In her lifetime, Jacqueline had endured hardships that few can imagine, but also joys and privileges that Americans would find surprisingly familiar. -Teme Ring, Chicago Now 9/10/20

Selling the Revolution to Iran's Next Generation

Despite considerable literature about post-revolutionary Iran, including work exploring more than 40 years of attempts to export the revolution to its neighbors, Tehran's continuous efforts to market the regime to its own citizens command disproportionately little attention beyond cursory media coverage of the routine passion plays that pass for pro-regime rallies. Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic, a new book by Johns Hopkins University professor Narges Bajoghli, offers a glimpse of this important aspect of the Islamic Republic's remarkable durability. -Suzanne Maloney, War On The Rocks 9/9/20

'Everything Sad Is Untrue' Is Funny And Sad And (Mostly) True

Do you love a great story? Try Daniel Nayeri's new autobiographical novel, his first, Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story), which begins with these memorable words: "All Persians are liars and lying is a sin." That's what the kids in Mrs. Miller's class think, but I'm the only Persian they've ever met, so I don't know where they got that idea. -Ailsa Chang, NPR 9/3/20

Between the Lines: Seeking solace in the work of the thirteenth-century Persian poet Hafez

"I wouldn't wish being Iranian on my worst enemy," my friend Marjan posted on Instagram in mid-January. Like many Iranians, Marjan is stuck in visa limbo. An economics professor in New York, she traveled to Iran in August of last year, and by the time her return visa was finally issued, coronavirus restrictions meant she was stuck in Iran. But her post was about more than just travel frustrations. -Nilo Tabrizy, Guernica 7/20/20

50 Inspiring Iranian Women, a book beautifully illustrated by Roshi Rouzbehani

Within just 12 hours of launching her Kickstarter campaign to bring her book to life celebrating 50 remarkable Iranian women, London-based illustrator Roshi Rouzbehani more than reached her target. The illustrated biography pays tribute to Iranian women who have played significant roles in art, science, sport, education and philanthropy. -Katy Cowan, Creative Boom 7/15/20

THE BROAD STAGE AT HOME Presents Red Hen Press Poetry Hour

On Thursday July 16 at 6 pm PT, a program entitled Finding Truths and Creating Art in Exile features Award-winning playwrights Iranian-American Sholeh Wolpe and Iranian Nassim Soleimanpour. Soleimanpour's most recent play Nassim will be performed in The Broad Stage 2020/21 season in April 2021. -Broadway World 7/9/20

Being brown in America: Stories of exile, identity and belonging

Written over a period of more than 10 years, Porochista Khakpour's collection of essays, Brown Album, is a reckoning with what it means to be an Iranian in America today. An acclaimed novelist, Porochista Khakpour launched onto the literary scene with her novels Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014). -Iman Sultan, Middle East Eye 7/2/20

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree review - magic realism in Iran

Revolutionary Guards pull a family off the road to check for forbidden items in their silver Buick; they find neither alcohol nor music but Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. After passing the copy around, they conclude that "politically, it was not a dangerous book". The censors have been less forgiving of Shokoofeh Azar's first novel for adults, which was banned in Iran, though many copies have been printed underground. It is now on the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker prize - a first for fiction translated from Farsi. -Maya Jaggi, Guardian 6/5/20

Rewriting Hafez: Re-theorizing Untranslatability in Persian Poetry

Near Eastern thinkers, perhaps as early as al-Jaḥiẓ, the eighth century Arab writer and polemicist, have commented on the problem of literary translation, particularly concerning poetry. While al-Jaḥiẓ points to broad challenges encountered in translating lyrical poetry, he gives more weight to translation as an end result, characterized by various layers of loss consequent to this linguistic transfer. One implication of reading translation merely as a product is to indict translation as an intellectual enterprise-as often has been done-and place it within the reductionist model of "betrayal" versus "faithfulness." -Aria Fani, Ajam 5/27/20

Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour review: a question of self-discovery

New York-based Khakpour is the author of two novels, Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014), and a memoir about illness, Sick (2014). Brown Album brings together a number of her autobiographical essays about being an Iranian American in the 21st century, which first appeared in publications such as the New York Times and Salon. They tell a fairly typical first-generation immigrant story of identity confusion and gradual self-discovery. -Houman Barekat, Guardian 5/22/20

Why isn't Arab literature popular in Iran?

One day during the war with Iran, an Iraqi Army newspaper editor receives a handwritten manuscript from a low-ranking soldier on the frontline. He is astonished by what he finds: a literary masterpiece. When he learns that the soldier was killed on the battlefield, the editor publishes the story under his own name. He wins praises from every corner of the world for it. But then, he begins to receive a torrent of extraordinary stories from the same soldier who was supposedly killed in the war... This is one of my favorite stories by the renowned Iraqi writer Hassan Blasim, from his collection of short stories, The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq. -Farnaz Seifi, Middle East Institute 5/15/20

Top 10 books about Iran

Iran is an ancient country with a complex people, among them some of the greatest poets who ever lived. Sadly, the Iranian novel has yet to reach the popularity of the country's poetry. This is perhaps because there is something enigmatic about how Persian prose is written, often using surrealism and magical realism to mimic the playfulness in its poetry. No matter what Iranians do, even if they write historical textbooks, it seems they can never shed the poetic touch. -Nazanine Hozar, Guardian 5/14/20

Iran marks National Day of Saadi Shirazi, the Master of Speech

Today is the National Commemoration Day of the renowned Persian poet Saadi Shirazi, born in Shiraz around 1200 and died around 1292. Abu-Muhammad Muslih al-Din bin Abdallah Shirazi, known by his pen-name Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. Saadi is known as a mystic and metaphysician in the history of Persian literature. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts.-Morteza Rahmani, Tehran Times 4/21/20

Lessons on humanity from Persian literature

All of Iran's celebrations this year to mark Sadi Day on April 20 will be organized online due to the COVID-19 disaster. Persian poet Sadi was introduced to the generation of Iranians that are now in their fifties with the following verses at the primary school age: The sons of Adam are limbs of each other / Having been created of one essence / When the calamity of time afflicts one limb / The other limbs cannot remain at rest.... -Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet 4/20/20

He Tried to Change the System, Then Became It

Dalia Sofer, who was raised in an Iranian Jewish family that left for the United States when she was 11, explored the years shortly after the revolution in her first novel, "The Septembers of Shiraz" (2007). She takes a much longer view in her follow-up, a layered portrayal of a man who through several decades has carried with him the conflicting pieces - beauty and brutality, revolt and repression - of his country's history. -Rebecca Makkai, New York Times 4/14/20

BOOK REVIEW: How the first generation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard became its most important source of reform

Days after the vote but before Iran's Supreme Leader sanctioned the results of the disputed 2009 presidential elections and unleashed the full weight of the state against millions of demonstrators, Mohammad Ahmadi was already on his third protest march, committed to participating in the Green Movement for the duration. For Ahmadi, one of several veterans featured in Narges Bajoghli's marvelous debut book, "Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic," the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came as a devastating blow. -Shervin Malekzadeh, Responsible Statecraft 3/31/20

Reckoning with an Uncertain Future in Iran, and Outside It

My mother loves anecdotes, witty sayings, and little old tales that teach a life lesson. A favorite comes from her father, whom she loved dearly. The saying shows the imprint of a life lived in the Iranian countryside, under the rule of mercurial authorities: When you go to fill your water jugs, dip both in the stream at the same time. Otherwise, by the time one is filled, they might not let you use the stream anymore. -Ali Araghi, New Yorker 3/16/20

THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life

A compelling cultural, spiritual and literary memoir, THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION is inspired by and sprinkled with new original translations of one of the finest mystic poets of all time. It is at once a smart and tender father-daughter story, an intriguing tale of spiritual pilgrimage, a delightfully eccentric self-help manual, and an inspiring account of hope and survival through the healing power of love and poetry. 3/4/20

Iranian refugee Shokoofeh Azar longlisted for Booker International

When Shokoofeh Azar was a teenager in Tehran she often dreamed about winning the Booker Prize. When the winning books were translated into Farsi, she would devour them. "I followed all of the Booker Prize winners," she says, "and always wanted to win the Booker one day." -Jason Steger, SMH 2/28/20

How a Persian Mystic Poet Changed My Life

Five years ago, in an act of creative desperation, I decided to immerse myself in the classical Persian poetry I grew up taking for granted. I aimed to learn it by heart and under the expert tutelage of my father, a physician by trade and a connoisseur of Sufi poetry by tradition. For my father, nothing is more sacred than poetry - specifically the mystical poetry of Rumi. -Melody Moezzi, New York Times 2/27/20

2020: Millennium of Persian Poet Ferdowsi

Anniversaries are important; they celebrate legacies and signify presence and continuity. This year, 2020, marks the 1000th anniversary of Ferdowsi's death. This renowned Persian poet died at age 81 in 1020, more than five centuries before Shakespeare was born. Ferdowsi has not only endured for a thousand years but has also defined the very identity and language of his own country - Iran. This is, indeed, a great achievement for a poet or for any person, for that matter. -Rasoul Shams 1/13/20

Book: Tappeh Sialk, The Glory Of Ancient Kashan

Tappeh Sialk on the outskirts of modern Kashan is arguably the most important ancient site in Iran before the rise of the Persian Empire in 550 BCE. Excavations here in the 1930s by a French team and by Iranian teams from 2000 AD onwards have cast light on the history of Iran from 6000 BCE onwards, spanning the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. 12/16/19

Axis of hope

In her new book, Axis of Hope: Iranian Women's Rights Activism across Borders (University of Washington Press, 2019), Catherine Sameh, assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of California, Irvine, shares the stories and practices of women's human rights activists both inside and outside of Iran. -UCI 12/5/19

So Long, Literary Giants! Iran Revamps Its Textbooks

Omar Khayyam is considered a giant of Persian poetry. His poems have been part of Iran's school curriculum for years. Yet students will reportedly no longer be able to read his rubaiyat in textbooks under a new plan. Students are instead likely to learn about the life of an Iranian fighter killed in Syria, where the Islamic republic has helped prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime during the country's eight-year civil war. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 11/12/19

Renowned Persian Poet Mazaher Mosaffa Dies At 87

Persian poet Mazaher Mosaffa, mostly famous for his odes, died of natural causes at his home in Tehran on Thursday October 31, 2019. He was 87. Mosaffa is considered as one of the few most outstanding ode composers in contemporary Persian literature. 11/5/19

Germany to celebrate 200th anniversary of Goethe's "West-East Divan" in Shiraz

Germany will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "West-East Divan" during a festival in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, home to the mausoleum of Persian poet Hafez who influenced Goethe's collection. 10/31/19

Iran Prevents Public Commemoration At Grave Of Celebrated Poet Ahmad Shamlou

Iranian security forces have prevented devotees of fans of late poet Ahmad Shamlou, who pushed for greater freedoms and had some of his work banned under successive governments, from marking the 18th anniversary of his death. 7/26/19

Banned Works at Tehran Book Fair Highlight Iran's Corrosive Censorship Policies

Several books by dissident authors in Iran were banned from the 32nd Tehran International Book Fair by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. They include the late Kourosh Asadi's novel, Kucheye Abrhaye Gom Shodeh; Kayhan Khanjani's novel, Bande Mahkoumin; E'dam va Qesas by civil rights columnist Emad Baghi; Dine Dowlati va Dowlate Dini by Mohammad Ghouchani; Roshanfekri Dini va Chaleshhaye Jadid by Iran's late Foreign Minister Mohammad Yazdi; and Faqihan va Enghelabe Iran by Hadi Tabatabaie. -CHRI 5/1/19

Iran Celebrates National Day Of Poet Sadi

Persian literature aficionados and literati from across Iran came together at the mausoleum of Persian poet Sadi in Shiraz on Sunday to celebrate Sadi National Day. Sheikh Muslih od-Din Sadi Shirazi (Born 1184 CE, Died 1283/1291 CE) was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but he has also been quoted in western sources. 4/22/19

1,000 Years of Literary Tradition in Rare Persian-Language Manuscripts Now Online at Library of Congress

In celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online for the first time the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection, which sheds light on scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics that are highly valued in the Persian speaking lands. 4/4/19

PHOTOS: Iranians celebrate Persian New Year Norooz at Tomb of Poet Hafez

Iranians gathered at the Tomb of Hafez in Shiraz, Fars province, last night to celebrate Persian New Year, Norooz. The vernal equinox which took place at 1:28 AM local time marked the start of spring and Norooz holidays in Iran. Shiraz is known as the City of Poets, Literature, Wine and Flowers. -Mohammad Ali Haqshenas 3/21/19

Triumph of Self-Empowerment over Darkened Despotic Tyranny

Legend has it that once upon a distant past juncture, ZaHawk a mythological, tyrannical, unjust, and cruel despot, ruled over Persia. Confiscating an ambivalent hiatus with his absolute power, he crowned himself on the Persian peacock throne as if he was immortal and anointed by an imaginary vengeful supreme. He reigned with iron fist, suffocating people with hegemony and heavy taxations over the vast Persian Empire to the fatal detriment of most inhabitants he mistreated as his serfs and slaves. -Davood N. Rahni 3/5/19

Iranian satirist Abolfazl Zarui, known as modern Zakani, dies at 49

Abolfazl Zarui Nasrabad, an Iranian satirist who became known as the modern Obayd Zakani due to the close similarity of his satires to those created by the renowned 14th-century poet, has passed away. He was 49. -Tehran Times 12/3/18

Iran's fascinating way to tell fortunes

The tradition of fal-e Hafez (which roughly translates to 'divination via Hafez') has been practised in Iran - and elsewhere in the Persian-speaking world, such as Afghanistan - for centuries. The tradition involves consulting the poet Hafez - known as Lesan ol Gheyb ('Tongue of the Unseen') - for questions about the future, as well as guidance regarding difficult decisions and dilemmas. -Joobin Bekhrad, BBC 10/24/18

Swedish Academy, Which Awards Nobel In Literature, Elects Iranian-Born Poet As Member

The Swedish Academy on October 5 announced it had elected an Iranian-born poet and a Swedish judge as new members in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that forced it to postpone awarding a Nobel prize in literature this year. 10/6/18

The Book of Kings: The book that defines Iranians

Completed by Abolqasem Ferdowsi in the early 11th Century, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings) is not only a literary masterpiece, but also a book that has for centuries helped define Iran and the Iranian peoples, as well as safeguard the existence of the Persian language. -Joobin Bekhrad, BBC 8/17/18

50 Years Later, Security Forces Are Still Trying to Silence the Iranian Writers Association

Police and security forces blocked an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the anti-censorship Iranian Writers Association (IWA) by raiding the home in Tehran where it was supposed to be held on May 25, 2018. 5/30/18

Iran Security Agents Prevent 50th Anniversary of Writers Association

Iranian security forces on Friday May 25 prevented the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Writers Association, the oldest and most prestigious trade union for Iranian writers. Upholding human rights, organizing Iranian writers and campaigning against censorship are the focal points of the Iranian Writers Association's activities. 5/27/18

New book SOFREH: Take a journey in words and images through the culture of Persian celebration

SOFREH: The Art of Persian Celebration is a journey in words and images through the culture of Persian celebrations. Never before have the splendour and beauty of these ancient traditions been presented in such an intricate and novel fashion. Sofreh, Persian for spread, is the focal point of the celebrations. These two lavishly illustrated volumes devoted to compositions created for the Persian New Year and marriage ceremonies are beautifully presented and richly documented. 3/12/18

Book Review: The Gardens of Consolation by Author Parisa Reza

The "Gardens of Consolation" is a poignant family tale of love, survival and shattered dreams set against the backdrop of a nation's struggle for independence. Seen through the eyes of one rural family, the Aminis, this novel is a prequal to a saga which spans over a century. -Darius Kadivar 2/13/18

Crowdfunding for publications of Samin Baghcheban's compositions

March 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Samin Baghcheban's demise in exile. On the occasion of the anniversary, the Baghcheban family is willing to publish a collection of Samin's vocal pieces which were composed in the 1950s and currently are not available to the public. 1/7/18

Book Review: Dreams of a forgotten childhood in Shiraz

Author Cyrus Kadivar gives us a fascinating account of the last days of Pahlavi rule in Iran in his new book, "Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile." He left Iran at the age of 16, during the 1979 revolution, for a life of exile -Lisa Kaaki, Arab News 12/27/17

Behind Closed Curtains: Interior Design in Iran - Book Presentation by Lena Spath

Author Lena Spath has captured the beauty, intricacy, and vibrancy of Iranian interior design in order to showcase its underrated style in her new book Behind Closed Curtains: Interior Design in Iran. "I want to challenge the narrative on Iran most media companies follow. This book is my way to bring the country's history and the stories of its citizens into the homes and the hands of more people." 12/22/17

A Bridge Taken for a Wall, a Wall Taken for a Bridge: On Persian Art, Poetry, and Translation

Event on December 7, 2017 at Stanford University: Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is currently writing a book on poetry in a global age. This talk on poetry, art, and East-West translation ranges from ancient Iran to medieval Byzantium and the Abbasid era to modern Iran and Ireland. 11/20/17

10th Annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts: Marjane Satrapi

We are very pleased to announce that the recipient of the Tenth Bita Prize for Persian Arts is Ms. Marjane Satrapi. She is the author of Persepolis, Persepolis 2, Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, and several children's books. She co-wrote and co-directed the animated feature film version of Persepolis, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. She regularly contributes to magazines and newspapers throughout the world. 11/9/17

Meet The Author: CYRUS KADIVAR

Born in Minnesota to Iranian-French parents, Cyrus Kadivar grew up during the Shah's reign in the Persian city of Shiraz. At sixteen he and his family were uprooted by the 1979 revolution. He has since worked as a banker, freelance journalist, and political risk consultant and lives in London. The AUC Press just published his book Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile. -American University in Cairo Press 10/12/17

Iranian Baha'i Poet Named PEN International Writer Of Courage

Baha'i poet Mahvash Sabet, who was jailed for nearly a decade in Iran, has been selected as the 2017 International Writer of Courage. Northern Ireland poet Michael Longley named Sabet at the PEN Pinter Prize ceremony at the British Library in London on October 10. 10/11/17

Persian Poetry Day marked in Iran

Iranians have marked the Persian Poetry Day, which is also the anniversary of the passing of renowned Iranian poet Mohammad Hossein Behjat Tabrizi, better known by his pen name, Shahriar. An event was held Monday at the Maqbaratoshoara, or the Tomb of Poets, in the city of Tabriz, in East Azerbaijan Province, where Shahriar is buried. 9/18/17

Italian scholars publish book on Iranian architecture

Three Italian scholars have published their latest research on Iranian architecture in a book titled "Through Iran: Cities, Architecture, Landscapes" (Attraverso l'Iran. Citta, architetture, paesaggi). Manfredi Edizioni in the Italian city Imola is the publisher of the book, which carries materials that Alessandra De Cesaris, Giorgio Di Giorgio and Laura Valeria Ferretti gathered about Iranian architecture during several trips to the country since 2010. 9/18/17

An Iranian bookstore in Westwood closes after 36 years

Westwood's Iranian bookstore Ketab Corp. closed its doors last week after 36 years in business. The shop on Westwood Boulevard held roughly 85% Persian titles as well as books in English about Iran, said owner Bijan Khalili, who in a phone call described his customer base as "Persians and those Americans that are interested in Persian culture" in a phone call. -Agatha French, Los Angeles TImes 8/31/17

Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

In October 1999 during a trip to Cairo, Cyrus Kadivar, an exiled Iranian living in London, visited the tomb of the last shah and opened a Pandora's box. Haunted by nostalgia for a bygone era, he recalled a protected and idyllic childhood in the fabled city of Shiraz and his coming of age during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Back in London, he reflected on what had happened to him and his family after their uprooting and decided to conduct his own investigation into why he lost his country. 7/20/17

Shahnameh audiobook, with introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, released

An audio version of the Shahnameh, the epic masterpiece of Persian poet Ferdowsi, has been released in English with an introduction by U.S. filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the United States. American voice actor Marc Thompson has narrated the stories based on the latest translation by Ahmad Sadri published by Quantuck Lane Press in 2013, Kingorama, the U.S.-based publisher of "Shahnameh, the Epic of the Persian Kings", has announced. 7/17/17

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