1st Edition

Interactions Between Iranian and American Literatures Strange Affinity

By Naghmeh Esmaeilpour Copyright 2024
    218 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Introducing "narrative mobility" as a new approach in comparative studies of Iran and the US, this book reinterprets the politics and aesthetics of relations between the nations through an analysis of Iranian and American authors.

    The book focuses specifically on three authors—Simin Daneshvar, Shahriar Mandanipour, and Don DeLillo—who each employ narrative mobility to rethink intercultural negotiation, addressing parallel issues in America and Iran from different, but complementary, perspectives. The book analyzes the employment of parallel narrational techniques, presenting physically and virtually mobile characters who embody their respective countries as they move from one culture to another. The strange affinity between Iran and the US is ultimately revealed by viewing literary works as a "contact zone" through which the complicated relations and shared history of the two nations can be renegotiated. On a more theoretical level, the book reflects on the role of literature—in particular the novel as a transnational medium—as a bridge between nations in a period of globalization.

    With its focus on cross-cultural connections, the book will be of interest to anyone studying or researching comparative literature, US–Iran relations, and cultural studies generally.

    1. At the Entrance to the Story  2. Narrative Mobility: Exchange across the Borders of Nations and Cultures  3. Physical Mobility as the Circulation of People from Different Worlds  4. The Otherworld of What Was Known and Lost (Historia-Political Narrative and Virtual/Imaginative Mobility)  5. The Storytellers of One Thousand and One Night (Cultural Narrative and Virtual/Imaginative Mobility)  6. The Vulgar Face of a Lost System (Economic Narrative and Virtual/Imaginative Mobility)  7. Strange Affinity: The Historical Irony of Cultural Circulation Between Iran and the US


    Naghmeh Esmaeilpour received her PhD in Comparative Literature at Humboldt University, Berlin. She has published articles in Bloomsbury’s World Literature Series and in U.S. American Culture as Popular Culture. Her research areas include comparative literature, (global) media culture, trans/intermediality, film, game, and narrative studies.

    "Written against the backdrop of decades of political hostility between Iran and the US, this study breaks new ground by highlighting convergences of views between American and Iranian writers. In the rich cultural arena Naghmeh Esmaeilpour offers her readers, the seemingly insurmountable divides between the two nations are bridged and overcome."

    Nasrin RahimiehUniversity of California, IrvineUnited States

    "Naghmeh Esmaeilpour presents a great scholarly feat here and a true celebration of comparative literature in its finest form. This is a unique incitement for cultural dialogue and understanding between Iran and the United States."

    Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS University of LondonUnited Kingdom

    "This book focuses on an astonishing topic with astonishing results: the peculiar mixture of love and hate between Iranian and American literatures."

    Joseph Vogl, Professor of Modern German Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany