Sweet Nothings and the Censors

Censoring an Iranian Love Story book coverThe world of writing is backdrop to a sweet and frustrated romance in the provocative Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour.  Young lover Dara first woos his Sara by secreting coded messages in Tehran library books.  Just as they are inhibited by the constraints of their culture, the author of their story is limited in his freedom to write.  He, too, is a character, and he interrupts the narrative to justify his preemptive choices for the tale.  Passages in the story appear crossed out, and we witness his ongoing exchanges with the exacting censor.  The skillful interplay of one mischievous courtship with the more sober issue of censorship makes for an unforgettable read, one that was originally written in Farsi but is unpublished in Iran.