Writer: Iranian young adults prefer scary stories

May 31, 2022 - 18:41

TEHRAN – Children’s book writer Ahmad Akbarpur has said that scary stories are Iranian young adults’ first choice.

Talking to the Persian service of ISNA, he made the remarks based on a preliminary investigation he conducted at several schools before the outbreak of COVID-19.

“Sometimes when I was invited to give a talk for children at schools, I usually would ask them which literary genre they prefer,” Akbarpur said.

“Their first choice was horror books, and then love stories and funny novels were their next favorites,” he added. 

“I could never find the reasons behind the choice, because our official institutions do not promote scary stories or movies. Schools never discuss such topics and families keep their children away from these subjects. It seems that our children get their cultural nourishment elsewhere; from institutions other than schools, Iranian TV and their families,” he explained.

Akbarpur said that we need to consult with a psychologist about the children’s choice.

However, he added, “Maybe, the children’s attitude refers to the inherent tendency of the modern life, in which children are facing some fears, which they want to experience in novels and movies,” he stated.

“Unconsciously, there some pressures on families in modern life, which raise children’s fears and lead them towards scary books,” added Akbarpur, who is the writer of “I Was a Deer”, which won a Golden Apple of the 2017 Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava for its illustrations by Narges Mohammadi.

Although Akbarpur has not produced any graphic novel, he talked about his desire to work in this field.

Working on comic strips and graphic novels requires a close interaction between writers and illustrators, but such collaboration has never been formed, he lamented.

He said that publishers should intervene to foster the collaboration between writers and illustrators.

He said that compelling stories full of suspense are needed to create comic and graphic novels, and added that stories from Persian masterpieces such as the Kelileh and Demneh and the Shahnameh have the potential to be changed into comic strips.

Akbarpur said that some Iranian publishers have produced a number of comic and graphic novels over the past few years, but the results fall short of acceptable standards.

Akbarpur is the author of numerous books, including “I’m Not Father’s Servant” and “The Emperor of Words”, which have been translated into Turkish.

Photo: Children’s book writer Ahmad Akbarpur in an undated photo.