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Category Archives: Iran Folio

Lies, Fame, Memory, Illness, and the Theater of Reza Abdoh

Salar Abdoh’s essay, “Lies, Fame, Memory, Illness, and the Theater of Reza Abdoh,” first appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review‘s Spring 2019 Special Issue on Iran. My brother, Reza, was always pissed off at me, as he often had to bail me out of tough situations.


              after Agha Shahid Ali’s “Arabic” At springtime—Persian new year—we circle around the warmth of bonfires to chant, Give me your color, take back my sickly pallor. There is rebirth in this language. A groom exchanges vows with his Persian bride in a foreign tongue.


Sakeen the housemaid was rarely free to play with us, even at parties. She had to prepare dinner, serve it to the guests, and clean up. Shahnaz, my uncle’s wife, liked to throw big parties to outplay our mothers in a game between them known

The End of Romanticism in Tehran

I must have been about ten when my mother and I were called into a cubicle at the American embassy in India, where we had traveled from Iran as part of our visa application, and in light of the absence of diplomatic relations between Tehran