Iranian writer Amirkhani’s travelogue of North Korea released amid coronavirus outbreak 

March 9, 2020 - 18:24

TEHRAN – A travelogue of North Korea by Reza Amirkhani, the author of the bestselling Persian novels “Salvation” and “The Good Smell of Oil”, has recently appeared in Tehran bookstores as Iranian people are fighting the new coronavirus.  

“At this time as people are dealing with the massive disaster, why should one publish a book?” Amirkhani asked in a statement published after the release of his book “A Half of One-Sixth of Pyongyang” by the Ofoq publishing company on last Tuesday.

He had received advice from experts suggesting that he not release his new book at present since the Iranian publishing industry is facing a severe recession.

“I was a guest of people and bookstores at the times of boom in the publishing industry, now at the times of depression I should remain with them too,” wrote Amirkhani.

His book “Salvation” about the consequences of urban development for a young couple that live in Tehran, was selected as best novel in 2018 at the 11th Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards, Iran’s most lucrative literary prize.

Amirkhani visited the North Korean capital of Pyongyang for nine days during June 2018 as a documentarian.

“I traveled to the country as a documentarian along with a political delegation, and the travelogue will likely be my next book, if they [critics] do not bemoan that, once again, I will be concentrating on a bitter story,” he said in an interview with the Persian daily Farhikhtegan in September 2018.

“The key point is that freedom will never be restricted in our country as much as it is in North Korea. In addition, even if our country is conquered by America we will never be like South Korea because we are not as disciplined as the South Korean people,” he noted.

Photo: This combination photo shows Iranian writer Reza Amirkhani and copies of his new book “A Half of One-Sixth of Pyongyang”.

MMS/YAW

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