‘Rumi’s Secret’ may be a Lonely Planet guide to Sufism, but it is a sensitive and passionate introduction nonetheless.
Western readers have historically only had the novels to go by, in situating Mahfouz in the context of Egypt’s mid-century transformations. It is only with the English publication of On Literature and Philosophy, the first volume of Mahfouz’s non-fiction writing, that there is a body of journalism and essays through which to trace Mahfouz’s intellectual journey.
In the light of what we now know, Cooper asks us to revisit our inherited memory of the shah, and consider returning with a different verdict.
It is a testament to Daoud’s subtle, profound talent that his story works both as a novelistic response to Camus and as a highly original story in its own right. ‘The Meursault Investigation’ is perhaps the most important novel to emerge out of the Middle East in recent memory, and its concerns could not be more immediate.
‘The King’ spans a transformative era during which Iran was opening up to the world, warding off the competing interests of Britain and Russia as the struggle between tradition and modernity took shape.
Readers will come away from this intimate, authoritative book with a fuller understanding of Iran, why its green uprising petered out, and why no one should be surprised if it kicks off again.
Majd writes affectingly throughout the book of his passion for Iran but what touches the reader most is the sense of loss Iranians themselves tell him they feel.
[Soledad] O’Brien’s experiences reporting on disasters, particularly Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, unfold in riveting detail, but their enormity seems to overpower her.
While Saberi calls attention to the plight of Iran’s political prisoners, she remains frustratingly vague on her thoughts for Iran’s future.
Coughlin offers no thoughts on how the West ought to proceed. He concludes limply that as long as Khomeini’s heirs are in power, Iran will remain defiant. Given the current attitudes in Washington about Iran, it seems Coughlin’s book has arrived one administration too late.