December 22, 1999
Imagine Iran in the late 70s. A bubbly 19-year-old girl falls for a tired middle-aged man. She's eager to lose her virginity and he's reluctant and confused. What happens in the privacy of his empty house? In the absence of an established or accepted tradition of erotica in Persian literature, how does an author describe their relationship?
These are just some of the dilimmas raised by Shahrnoush Parsipour's intriguing "new" novel Maajeraa-haaye saadeh va kuchak-e ruh-e derakht, (Simple Affairs and the Spirit of the Tree, 1999 Baran Publishers, PO Box 4048, 163 04 Spanga, Sweden, Tel: 46-0-8-471-9271. Available at Iranbooks or Ketab Corp).
The book was written between autumn 1978 and spring 1978. That summer it was ready for publication. But the country was in the midst of a revolution with strong religious overtones and Parsipour decided not to publish it because it disucssed ravaabet-e vizjheh or "special relations" between men and women.
Unlike the highly symbolic language of some of Parsipour's more famous novels, Maajeraa-haaye saadeh is written with a clarity and openness that characterized the Iranian literary scene at the time, when the walls of censorship were crumbling in the dying months of the monarchy. Here's an excerpt (in Persian): >>> Page one
Also by Shahrnoush Parsipour
beh donyaa aamadam