Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour

Censoring an Iranian Love Story

Shahriar Mandanipour

The writer of this book wants to take you into his confidence as he struggles to write under the scrutiny of the censor. Through playful asides he will show you how difficult it is for Dara and Sara to have a relationship, even going to the extremes of meeting in a hospital A and E waiting room just to get the chance to sit together. Experience poignant young love from the pen of a comic satirist.


Now you know very well that there is nothing I can do to stop the scissors of censorship from cutting off Sara's breasts, calves and waist. I therefore have to write the self-censored sentences in the following manner.
Dara sees his beautiful Sara. He sees the projection of her two crystalline collarbones that curve and end as handles of two crystal goblets. Sara's arms are like icicles against which the moonlight shines as they dangle beside two curved impressions....
No, even I get a chill from this icy illustration. I am tempted to liken the surfacing of Sara's beauties to the cliched surfacing of Ursula Andress from the sea in Dr No, but Mr Petrovich has most likely seen this film.

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Books with similar mood


David Whitehouse

City of the Dead

Sara Gran

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

Brock Clarke

Breakfast with the Borgias

DBC Pierre

The Humorist

Russell Kane

Gods Without Men

Hari Kunzru

A Pleasure and a Calling

Phil Hogan

Care of Wooden Floors

Will Wiles

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness

Poppy Shakespeare

Clare Allan

The Gypsy Goddess

Meena Kandasamy

Big Machine

Victor LaValle

Kick the Animal Out

Veronique Ovalde

The Electric Michelangelo

Sarah Hall

The Door

Magda Szabo

The Ministry of Special Cases

Nathan Englander

We Are Made of Diamond Stuff

Isabel Waidner


Luke Kennard

The Way Inn

Will Wiles

The Devil's Workshop

Jáchym Topol

The Lazarus Project

Aleksander Hemon

Nowhere Man

Aleksander Hemon

One More for the Road

Ray Bradbury


Nicola Barker

How the Dead Live

Will Self

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Claire North

Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs

Rodge Glass

The Cry of the Sloth

Sam Savage

The Helmet of Horror

Victor Pelevin

The Somnambulist

Jonathan Barnes

Natural Novel

Georgi Gospodinov

Diplomatic Act

Peter Jurasik


Roland Watson-Grant

The Man Who Spoke Snakish

Andrus Kivirähk

Gargling with Tar

Jachym Topol


Jeff VanderMeer

The Amnesia Clinic

James Scudamore

A Friend of the Earth

T C Boyle


Ever Dundas

The Empress and the Cake

Linda Stift

Loop of Jade

Sarah Howe

Evening is the Whole Day

Preeta Samarasan

God's Own Country

Ross Raisin


Diana Abu-Jaber


Victor Pelevin


Mihangel Morgan


Daniel Kehlmann

Frankenstein in Baghdad

Ahmed Saadawi

The Brilliant & Forever

Kevin MacNeil