Shahriar Mandanipour, Lecture (to be an Iranian writer, challenges & obstacles)

To be an Iranian writer, challenges and obstacles

Shahriar Mandanipour is an Iranian American writer, literary theorist, and essayist. Mandanipour is the author of 13 books, including three novels, nine collections of short stories, and one nonfiction book in literary theory. These books have been translated into over 14 languages.

Mandanipour’s first translated novel appears in English, Censoring an Iranian Love Story, translated by Sara Khalili, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, New York: 2009 (the UK. & Canada) and another 11 languages in 13 countries Critics and media outlets, including Los Angeles Times, Guardian, New York Times, etc., were very well received. The book was named by the New Yorker one of the reviewers’ favorites of 2009, by the Cornell Daily Sun as The Best Book of the Year for 2009, and by NPR as one of the best debut novels of the year; the Greek edition has been awarded the Athens Prize for Literature 2011. The novel has been translated and published in 11 other languages and 13 countries. His second novel in English, Moon Brow, translated by Sara Khalili, was published by Restless Books in 2018.

Moon Brow translation in German and French has also been published in Switzerland and France. Seasons of Purgatory, the collection of his short stories, translated by Sara Khalili, was published by Bellevue Literary Press in 2022. Critics well received it. Mandanipour’s creative approach to using symbols and metaphors, his inventive experimentation with language, time, and space, and his unique awareness of sequence and identity have made his work fascinating to critics and readers. His honors include the Mehregan Award for the best Iranian children’s novel of 2004, the 1998 Golden Tablet Award for best fiction in Iran during the previous two decades and Best Film Critique at the 1994 Press Festival in Tehran.

Mandanipour is also the author of one nonfiction book, and more than 100 essays
in literary theory, literature and art criticism, creative writing, censorship, and social commentary. From 1999 until 2007, he was Editor-in-Chief of Asr-e Panjshanbeh (Thursday Evening), a monthly literary journal published in Shiraz that, after 9 years of publishing, was banned. Some of his short stories and essays have been published in anthologies such as Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Fiction, and Sohrab’s Wars: Counter Discourses of Contemporary Persian Fiction: A Collection of Short Stories and a Film Script; and in journals such as The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Short works have been published in France, Germany, Denmark, and in languages such Arabic, Turkish, and Kurdish.

He held fellowships at Brown University, Harvard University, Boston College, and at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. He has been a visiting professorship at Brown University, where he taught courses in Persian literature and cinema. He also has taught creative writing at Tufts University.


Oct 1, Saturday at 4:00 pm