Iran through Literature
Mini Kapoor of The Hindu wrote a piece on Iran through Literature featuring our Senior Research Fellow Nahid Mozzafari's anthology of contemporary Iranian Literature Strange Times, My Dear.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the "Islamic Revolution" Kapoor gives a brief overview of Iran's contemporary history by presenting the reader a list of Literature of, and on, post 1979 Iran. Paying special attention to the 1953 coup against democratically elected Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh and the events surrounding the 2009 election, eventually leading to the protests of the Green Movement.
Since, in Mini Kapoor's words, "[n]o understanding of Iran of the past 40 years can be complete without reading its fiction and poetry", her journey through contemporary literature on and of Iran ends with a look at Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature, citing Ahmad Shamlou's poem ‘In This Blind Alley’, from which the title of the collection is taken: “They smell your breath/ lest you have said: I love you,/ They smell your heart: These are strange times, my dear. [...] In this crooked blind alley, as the chill descends,/ they feed fires/ with logs of songs and poetry./ Hazard not a thought:/ These are strange times, my dear. [...]”.
Hakkak, Ahmad Karimi, and Nahid Mozzafari, eds. Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2005.