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Censoring an Iranian Love Story - A Book Review

Shahriar Mandanipour’sCensoring an Iranian Love Story (2009, Translated by Sara Khalili) is one of the strangest and most interesting books I read. You see, I always had a thing for Persian culture, but being an Egyptian today I know it is almost impossible to be able to witness its greatness through my own two eyes. So when I found Censoring an Iranian Love Story, it was like a treasure to me, hoping it would give me an idea about the modern-day Iran without having to visit! So let me tell you a thing or two about this book.

The Story
As Raha Namy puts it in the Quarterly Conversation, Censoring an Iranian Love Story is a multi-layered story. This - more than slightly - surreal tale tries to give numerous details about the Iranian culture and censorship in a mix of real and fictional story layers that continuously intersect, sometimes confusing between what is real and what is fictional, making it hard for the non-Iranian reader to build a real idea about Iran.

Layer 1
The innermost laye…