from Ah, Istanbul
short story excerpt from Strange Times My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature
Reza Farrokhfal, (1949–)
The night I finally finished the book, my sight was blurred from the tiny feminine handwriting. What had this woman been thinking when she chose this book for translation, especially in this day and age? It was a novel with all the cliches and ingredients of a bestseller or even a blockbuster film; suspense, romance, sex, the cat-and mouse games of secret agents of an Eastern Block ally, and an American hero. But even if it was a masterpiece of its kind, there was still no question of publishing it. I turned off the light, and before sleep could weigh down my eyelids, I pictured the old publisher’s face as I gave him my opinion. Trusting the memory of people of his generation was always a letdown. I laughed out loud in the solitude of the dark room.