|“Shah without a Sheen” gives the Shah an opportunity to be heard: writer||
On Sunday, Mohammad-Kazem Mazinani attended the Age of Experience, the regular meetings that are held by the Iranian Fiction Foundation, to share his experience of writing. However, almost all of his speech was about his controversial novel, “Shah without a Sheen”.
Published by Sureh-Mehr in early 2011, the novel tells how events turned the Shah’s life into misery despite his position as king. The book was highly acclaimed at several Iranian literary events.
“I tried to describe the tragic condition of the Shah… This novel was an opportunity for the Shah to be heard,” Mazinani said.
“It is difficult to write a novel about a shah whose queen is still alive and breathes along with us. Even we are not so far from the time that the Shah was still living. If I would plan to write a novel about the Shah, surely I should write my own novel and not what has been taught to us in history,” he added.
The novel was warmly welcomed by Persian readers. However, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance demanded that Sureh-Mehr make over 20 modifications to the second edition, which was published in early 2012.
The title of “The Shah without a Sheen” is a play on words. Sheen is a letter of the Persian alphabet that represents the sound of “sh” in English. Only “ah” remains if the “sh” is dropped from the word “shah”. “Ah” means sorrow in Persian.
The novel is the first book of a trilogy. Mazinani has recently completed the second part, entitled “The Ah with a Sheen”, which is about the political life of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
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