Fiction is often a conduit to the underlying forces driving the chaos of unfolding events. While watching the turmoil over the contested presidential election in Iran, I keep thinking about the first novel to be published in English by the Iranian writer Shahriar Mandanipour,
Censoring an Iranian Love Story, which received a starred review in Booklist in the April 15, 2009 issue. Mandanipour won numerous awards in Iran, yet his fiction was censored, hence unpublished, between 1992 and 1997. Mandanipour came to the U.S. in 2006 as an International Writers Project Fellow at Brown University, and is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University. His novel about two young, thwarted lovers, and a censored writer attempting to outsmart the authorities, is an ironic, funny, and incisive journey through the labyrinth of paradoxes and power plays that shape Iran today.