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Strange Times, My Dear
- The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature
- Narrated by: Peter Ganim
- Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
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A rich and varied collection of contemporary short stories, extracts from novels, and poetry that will go a long way toward informing the English-speaking world of the latest developments in Iranian literature.
Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, we have been virtually cut off from that country's culture. Despite severe difficulties imposed by social, political, and economic upheaval, war, repression, and censorship, there has been a veritable cultural renewal in Iran over the past 25 years, not only in literature, but also in music, art, and cinema. Now for the first time we have selections from the work of over 50 men and women from three generations in translation, which goes a long way toward filling that gap.
This sampling - or to use the Farsi term golchine, a bouquet - provides a window onto an important but sorely neglected segment of world culture. We hope it will also serve to awaken further interest in the work and in translations of Iranian novelists and poets. The poetry section is edited and introduced by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, professor of Persian literature at the University of Maryland.
A cultural gap has existed between Iran and the western world since the revolution of 1979. In that time however, Iranian artists have developed a rich and unique body of works in varied forms. The editors of Strange Times, My Dear hope to bridge this gap and bring this culture to the English-speaking world through the words of contemporary authors who have worked, often at odds with censorship and hardship, to shape and deepen the Iranian landscape. Peter Ganim’s nuanced performance of these works provides a coherent primer that will open a dialogue for the uninitiated and spark a lively interest in unique segment of international literature.
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Where does Strange Times, My Dear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
What a great idea! I feel like I can finally relate to a culture that has been isolated from us from so long. Great person who decided to connect our cultures. I hope this book becomes successful! I will write a longer review when I'm completely finished with this audio...
I was really excited to see this book exists as an audiobook. I have not tried listening to something of a similar format before - but really thought a sampling of different Iranian fiction and poetry would be fantastic.
Some stories / excerpts were good, a lot I barely made it through. The narrator tried to vary his voice, but frankly by the end of the fiction section when I heard another dragged out and breathy "woman's voice" I literally couldn't take it and skipped that story entirely.
Poetry was pretty good / I wish that came first when I had enthusiasm.
Overall I think it is not great as an audiobook, also it is no substitute for one work of fiction - BUT I do hope to read more by the couple of authors that I did enjoy
Strange but interesting
I wanted a book from a culture other than my own. These stories are quirky and enigmatic, and certainly different from Charles Dickens or Jane Austen or anything like that, so they fit the bill quite well. Alas, my enjoyment was spoiled by the awful narration. Whether he was reading the intro to a story, or a bio of the author, or dialogue, his voice never varied. Throughout this entire thing his voice was whiney and miserable sounding. I really don't think he did justice to any of the authors' works. I'll be avoiding him in the future.