Dossier: Iranian literature

A Persian "Haft Sin" table featuring seven foods and objects all beginning with the letter "s" (photo: Imago/UPI Photo)

Nowruz: one of the world's oldest festivals

"My paleness is yours, your colour is mine!"

The Iranian New Year celebration "Nowruz" has been a feature of Persian culture for more than 2,500 years. The roots of this festival lie in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Today, more than 300 million people all over the world celebrate Nowruz. Shohreh Karimian looks back at the history of this new year celebration and explains some of its customsMore

Street next to the wall of Tehran's Evin prison (photo: dpa)

Amir Hassan Cheheltan's ''Tehran, Skyless City''

Reflecting the Dark Side of Iran's Capital

In "Tehran, Skyless City", Amir Hassan Cheheltan describes the journey through life of an underdog who arrives in Tehran as an uprooted, orphaned inmate of a home and with a high degree of criminal energy, rises through the ranks to become the director of a torture prison. A review by Volker KaminskiMore

An Iranian woman reading a book in front of a book display in Tehran (photo

Writers in Iran


Fighting a Losing Battle

Decades of repression and the establishment of a conformist state culture are beginning to take their toll on independent writers. In an all-enveloping climate of fear, Iran's young writers are coming under increasing pressure to sacrifice their independence and exercise self-censorship. For their part, the all-powerful state censorship authorities are becoming ever more professional – and restrictive – in their methods. By Faraj SarkohiMore

Anti-American mural at the former US embassy in Teheran (photo: Reuters)

The Iranian Writer Amir Hassan Cheheltan

The Loyal Dissident

Amir Hassan Cheheltan is one of a group of internationally known Iranian artists who have no intention of turning their backs on their country, and who will not allow themselves to be sidelined or frozen out by the regime. Stefan Buchen met him in BerlinMore

Bookcover: 'Der Schrecken Gottes', Navid Kermani

Navid Kermani's "Metaphysical Revolts"

Is the Creator a Sadist?

In his new book Navid Kermani explores the question of divine justice and the meaning of suffering. His starting point is the Job motif and "The Book of Suffering" by the Persian mystic Fariduddin Attar. By Lewis GroppMore