On Monday, April 30th at 7pm, Iranian novelist Shahriar Mandanipour will discuss his magisterial novel of love and war, Moon Brow, with his intrepid translator Sara Khalili and Restless Books publisher Ilan Stavans as part of Brookline Booksmith's Transnational Literature Series, which focuses on books concerning migration, exile and displacement.
Shahriar Mandanipour is one of Iran’s most accomplished writers, the author of nine volumes of fiction, one nonfiction book, and more than 100 critical essays. Born in 1957 in Shiraz, Iran, he studied political science at Tehran University and bore witness to the 1979 revolution. After the onset of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, he joined the military and volunteered for duty at the front, where he served for more than eighteen months. His first collection of stories was published in 1989; his works were banned between 1992 and 1997. In 2006, he moved to the United States and has held fellowships at Brown, Harvard, and Boston College. Mandanipour’s first novel to appear in English, Censoring an Iranian Love Story (Knopf, 2009), has been widely acclaimed. He currently teaches creative writing at Tufts University.
Sara Khalili is an editor and translator of contemporary Iranian literature. Her translations include Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour, The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons by Goli Taraghi, The Book of Fate by Parinoush Saniee, and Rituals of Restlessness by Yaghoub Yadali. She has also translated several volumes of poetry by Forough Farrokhzad, Simin Behbahani, Siavash Kasraii, and Fereydoon Moshiri. Her short story translations have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, EPOCH, GRANTA, Words Without Borders, The Literary Review, PEN America, Witness, and Consequence.
Ilan Stavans is the Publisher of Restless Books and the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities, Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. His books include On Borrowed Words, Spanglish, Dictionary Days, The Disappearance, and A Critic’s Journey. He has edited The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, the three-volume set Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, among dozens of other volumes. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Chile’s Presidential Medal, the International Latino Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award. Stavans’s work, translated into twenty languages, has been adapted to the stage and screen. A cofounder of the Great Books Summer Program at Amherst, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, and Dublin, he is the host of the NPR podcast "In Contrast."
Brookline Booksmith, located just outside of Boston in Coolidge Corner, originally opened in 1961 as Paperback Booksmith with the slogan “Dedicated to the fine art of browsing.” The store was one of the first bookstores on the East Coast to recognize that “serious” paperback books—a publishing phenomenon of the late 1950s—opened up the world of great literature to a mass audience. Prior to that, paperbacks mostly featured westerns and nurse stories and “serious” literature was only available in hardcover. Paperback Booksmith sold a diverse range of books—from great literature to naughty books, from books by and about the radical left to books by and about the radical right. The Booksmith was one of the first stores to display the books by category, rather than by publisher, and to organize its books alphabetically by author, encouraging customers to enjoy browsing on their own and at their leisure. Since its beginnings as Paperback Booksmith, Brookline Booksmith has continued to evolve, serving the people of Brookline and Boston.