Saved by Beauty: Adventures of an American Romantic in Iran

Roger Housden, Broadway, $24 (320p) ISBN 978-0-307-58773-2
As a young man, British-American author Housden (Chasing Rumi) found himself drawn to Iran—its poetry, music, and even the signature blue color of its mosques, but only in his 60s was he able to visit the country and attempt to unlock its secrets. "The image of Iran as a dark and scary place," writes Housden, "remains a difficult one to dislodge from the collective imagination…I wanted to see if the Iran of today could give substance and value to the images I had cherished for decades." A lyrical panorama of contemporary Persian politics and culture, this book gives contour and nuance to our idea of Iran, and introduces us to complex, very memorable characters—from the artists who refuse to live elsewhere, despite governmental limitations, to the poetry-quoting intelligence agents who threaten the author with prison. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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