Azadeh Parsapour

The Endangered Joy of Reading in Iran

book-week

Iran celebrated its national book week from 15 to 22 November this year with the slogan ‘The Great Joy of Reading’. The book week is the second major book related event in Iran after Tehran international book fair that is held in May every year. There were many activities and programs planned for this week across the country, either state driven or run by the private sector, to promote the culture of reading. 

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Self-publishing in Iran; a tale of dare and dilemma

The first time I encountered a self-published book in Iran was about 10 years ago. My blogger friend tried to publish his first collection of short stories and faced a dead end with the book office censors. The whole book had a dark comedy theme and, as I remember, one of the protagonists was a rather stupid army commander. The authorities had told him that it is an insult to our “sacred military forces”. 

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To Detect The Footprints Of A Censor

Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was invited to Iran by one of his Iranian publishers Qoqnus to attend the Tehran International Book Fair in May. He was supposed to speak in one of the literary centres in Iran, in a night of celebration of his work. He reached Iran but both events were cancelled for reasons like the venues “not being ready” and “avoiding congestion in the book fair”. The only program he could attend was a press conference on the other side of the city far from the book fair venue in Niavaran Cultural Historical Palace stopping his readers from seeing or speaking to him.

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Words always find a way!

The uncensored book fair of Iranian independent publishers

Every year, early in May, Iranian publishers have the busiest time of the year with the Tehran International Book Fair being held for a period of ten days in the capital. All publishers - except those who have been banned due to previous violations - gather from across the country.

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