By Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet

Five Iranian publishers announce top 10 bestsellers of the year

March 27, 2020 - 20:34

TEHRAN – Iranian publishers Nimaj, Ruzbehan, Qoqnus, Cheshmeh and Afraz have announced their top ten bestselling books published over the past year as the Iranian New Year began on March 20.

Nimaj’s bestsellers

Iranian writer Ruzbeh Moein’s romantic novel “The Cold Coffee of Mr. Writer” leads Nimaj’s bestsellers, which is followed by “Rakhshid’s Secret was Revealed”, another romantic novel by Ali Soltani.

Iranian writer Sanaz Zamani’s story “Silent House”, not to be confused with a novel of the same title by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, was inscribed as third on Nimaj’s bestseller list.

The story of “Silent House” is set in winter 1979 when Kurosh, a young Iranian engineer, buys a listening device from a German engineer on his mission to Germany. He begins to use the device to learn the hidden secrets of some people who live around him.

The fourth book is “Journeys of the Writers” by Abutorab Khosravi. The book tells the story of Saeid and Eqlima, two scholars who team up to do research into the role of the saints in the development of societies. 

“The Lion’s Wound”, a collection of 11 short stories by Samad Taheri, grabbed fifth place. And the Persian translation of Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s first adult novel “La sombra del viento” (“The Shadow of the Wind”) by Ali San’avi came next.

The list also includes Turkish writer Elif Shafak’s novels “The Hidden” and “Three Daughters of Eve”, both translated into Persian by Saber Hosseini.

“Beizai/Crocodile”, two plays by Seyyed Mohammad Mosavat and “The Hole/The Deep Sound of the Snow”, two plays by Jaber Ramezani and Payam Saeidi, polled ninth and tenth places respectively.


Ruzbehan’s bestsellers

Ruzbehan’s bestseller list begins with Iranian writer Nader Ebrahimi’s novels “Fire without Smoke” and “On the Red Marine Roads”, two masterpieces of modern Persian literature from the early 1970s the publisher republished in 2017.

Zahed Barkhoda’s novel “He” placed third and Ebrahim’s another story “A Man in Permanent Exile” came next.

“Stories” containing 40 short stories by Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani selected by translator Gholamreza Emami stands fifth on Ruzbehan’s bestseller list.

The sixth bestseller is “Scorched”, the second play from a tetralogy by Lebanese-Canadian writer Wajdi Mouawad translated into Persian by Mohammadreza Khaki.

Ruzbehan’s other bestselling books are French writer Jean-Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit” translated by Behrang Esmaeiliun, British theater director and vocal coach Cicely Berry’s book “Voice and the Actor”, “Professional Acting”, a collection of articles by Scott Zeigler, Melissa Broder and several other experts translated by Ahmad Damud, and a Persian translation of American director David Mamet's book “On Directing Film” by Damud.      


Qoqnus bestsellers

A Persian translation of Shafak’s novel “The Forty Rules of Love”, about the Persian mystic and poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi and his companion Shams, leads Qoqnus’s popular books of the year. The book has been translated into Persian by Arsalan Fasihi, a Persian translator of Turkish literature.

Iranian writer Abbas Marufi’s story “Symphony of the Dead”, about the clash between tradition and modernity, came next while his love story “Year of Turmoil” earned third place.

A Persian translation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Bahman Farzaneh was ranked fourth.

“The Tears of My Soul”, an autobiography of the former North Korean agent Kim Hyun Hee who had been transformed by her country into an obedient killing machine, was fifth on the list.

The list also includes Canadian author Margaret Atwood dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” translated into Persian by Soheil Somi. 

“Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea”, in which North Korea’s senior propagandist Jang Jin-sung exposes shocking truths behind the regime, was the seventh on the list.

Turkish writer Ahmet Umit’s book “The Dervish Gate” translated into Persian by Fasihi occupied eighth place. The story uncovers the secret behind the murder of Shams, the companion of Rumi.
 
“Nine Stories”, a collection of short stories by American fiction writer J. D. Salinger translated by Ahmad Golshiri, and Iranian writer Yasaman Khalilifard’s story “It Seems that I’m Not Myself” about the disorientation of people in modern times are Qoqnus’s other bestsellers.


Cheshmeh bestsellers

Australian writer Steve Toltz’s 2008 novel “A Fraction of the Whole” is on the top of Cheshmeh’s bestseller list. The book translated into Persian by Peyman Khaksar follows three generations of the eccentric Dean family in Australia and the people who surround them.

“Like the Blood in My Veins”, a collection of Persian blank verse poet Ahmad Shamlu’s love letters to his wife Aida Sarkissian, came next.

French writer Jean Teule’s 2006 black comedy novel “The Suicide Shop” and German writer Heinrich Boll’s 1955 novella “The Bread of Those Early Years” occupy the third and fourth places on the list.

“No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison”, an autobiographical account of Behrouz Boochani’s perilous journey to Christmas Island and his subsequent incarceration in an Australian government immigration detention facility on Manus Island, was slated in fifth place.

“Outside of Door”, a novel by veteran Iranian writer Mahmud Dowlatabadi that recounts a small portion of Afaq’s life before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 came next.

The seventh place was taken by “Autumn is the Last Season of the Year” by Nasim Marashi. The novel tells the stories of three women in their thirties.

“A Guide to Die with Herbal Medicines” by Iranian writer Atieh Attarzadeh captured eighth. The novel is about a blind girl whose world is defined in terms of her collaboration with her mother at home to prepare herbal medicines. However, attending a family meeting outside of home makes her into a different person.

“Theory of Music” by veteran composer Mostafa-Kamal Purtorab and “Art as Therapy” written by the Australian-Scottish art historian John Armstrong and Swiss-born British philosopher Alain de Botton were the last of Cheshmeh’s bestselling books of the year.


Afraz bestsellers

“T”, a novel by Zahed Barkhoda, tops Afraz’s bestseller list. The story narrates the internal voice of the autistic mind of its central character, which is continuously involved in playing with letters of the alphabet and numbers. 

“At the Depth of 1.5 Meters” by Hanieh Soltanpur was listed as second. It is about a man who plans to marry, yet is strongly under the influence of his mother.

Saeid Jozani’s story collection “A Year Has Two Seasons” appeared as third. The collection contains four short and long stories, all of which are set in the northern Iranian region of Gilan.

The fourth place was taken by “An Opera to Silence Rudaki Hall” by Jamshid Malekpur that narrates a story with artistic characters.

“Museum of Trash Objects”, a story by Toktam Tavssoli about a woman who has been treated like a boy from childhood by her father, and Leila Babai’s detective romance book “The Crickets in Qavam us-Saltaneh Garden” were slotted in fifth and sixth places on the list.

Four other bestsellers of the Afraz publishing company are as follows: American writer Robert McKee’s “Dialogue: the Art of Verbal Action for Stage, Page and Screen” translated by Mahtab Safdari, Hungarian writer’s “Theory of the Film Character and Growth of a New Art” translated by Morteza Latifi-Nezami, Franco–Belgian writer Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s “When I Was a Work of Art” translated by Faramarz Veisi and Asieh Heidari, and American writer Stephen King’s apocalyptic novel “Cell” translated by Mandana Qahramanlu. 

Photo: People visit the Tehran Book Garden, a major bookstore of the Iranian capital, in an undated photo. (Tehran Book Garden)

MMS/YAW
 

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