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Shahriar Mandanipour and Claire Messud at Newtonville Books

  • Newtonville Books 10 Langley Road Newton Centre, MA, 02459 United States (map)

Join us on Tuesday, May 1, to celebrate Iranian novelist Shahriar Mandanipour's first novel in nine years, Moon Brow, at Newtonville Books, where he will appear in conversation with acclaimed author Claire Messud. 

In a piece for New York Review of Books about Mandanipour's previous novel, Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Messud wrote: 

“While his fiction remained unpublished in Iran for much of the 1990s on account of censorship, he is one of that country’s most celebrated and accomplished contemporary novelists. For another, born in 1957 (and thus a generation older than most of the others), he was an adult when the Islamic Republic was created. He remained in Iran for a quarter century thereafter, and has, consequently, a very different perspective from those who left as children, in the early 1980s…. Playfully and yet with utter seriousness, Mandanipour exposes his constraints, and also the devices by which he might hope to convey his matter indirectly: traditional Iranian poetry; cinema. In so doing, Mandanipour expresses the complexity of his culture—not just of the society of the Islamic Republic, but of the underlying Persian traditions that continue to influence it—through the warp and weft of the text itself. This novel doesn’t offer a conventionally realistic narrative, but to read it—and to appreciate that simply on account of its publication, Mandanipour is henceforth unable to return to Iran—is to understand, by inhabiting rather than by being told, what life there now, and the making of art, might actually be like.”

—Claire Messud, New York Review of Books

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About the Authors

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.

Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Author of five previous works of fiction including her most recent novel, The Woman Upstairs, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

Where: 10 Langley Road Newton Centre, Newton, MA 02459 

When: Tuesday, May 1, 7PM