Shades of Truth

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Iranian Short Fiction of the Fifth Generation in Translation

Edited by Manijeh Mannani, Elli Dehnavi and Veronica Thompson.

This anthology introduces the short fiction of young Iranian women and men writers of the fifth generation, the period encompassing the reform movement of the late 1990s to the present, to the English-speaking world. The collection consists of ten short stories by ten prominent Iranian writers: Fereshteh Ahmadi, Behnaz Alipour-Gaskari, Azardokht Bahrami, Peyman Esmaeili, Hamed Esmaeilion, Hamed Habibi, Hafez Khiavi, Mahsa Mohebali, Mehdi Rabbi, and Amir H. Yazdanbod. Each translated story is critically introduced and contextualized within its literary and sociopolitical context at the beginning of each chapter.

Today, perhaps more than ever before, there is a need to introduce to the world the great talent of young Iranians distilled in fiction that only complements the eternal poetry of their predecessors. The preoccupations of the writers included in this collection are wide-ranging, and the stories predominantly deal with the universal subject matters of love, loss, death, gender relations, and trust, among other weighty topics and themes. While the subject matter engaged in these short stories is not exclusively local, the thematic and stylistic approaches to portraying this subject matter, and the writers’ engagements with sociopolitical issues, differentiate the stories from the fiction of other writers in Iran and globally, and yet bring them together and point to the underlying human aspirations for justice and beauty.