Seasons of Purgatory

Available Jan 25, 2022

208 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658955


ISBN: 9781942658962

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“Mandanipour served as a frontline officer in the Iran-Iraq war: a writer’s baptism of fire whose flames light up several stories here. . . . Seasons of Purgatory unites storytelling subtlety with scenes of visceral emotional impact.”

Wall Street Journal

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“Cause for celebration. . . . Mandanipour provides readers with a vivid and idiosyncratic map of [Iran’s] people and places, effortlessly translated by Sara Khalili whose close collaboration with the author is palpable on every gleaming, blade-sharp page.”

Chicago Review of Books

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“While the turmoil and danger of everyday life in Iran are the backdrop, Mandanipour focuses on the personal struggles of the characters and their hardscrabble lives. . . . These haunting, urgent works are as nuanced and provocative as the lives they depict.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Seasons of Purgatory is a stunning collection of stories about Iran’s traditions, its violent recent history, and how the memory of both influences daily life.”

Foreword Reviews (starred review)

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“Dostoyevskian in their density and black humor, Mandanipour’s stories capture the Iranian experience of constant upheaval in a brilliant translation that allows the English-speaking world to experience this gem of Iranian literature.”


“Altogether subversive. . . . [Mandanipour is] a skilled storyteller with a bent for the quietly macabre and the burdens of those crushed by totalitarian rule.”

Kirkus Reviews

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“A remarkable writer. . . . At once beautiful and horrific, Mandanipour’s tales reveal a people with dreams, fears and hopes; a culture that is ancient yet struggling to be a part of today’s world.”

Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)

“Smart and dynamic stories. . . . Textured, intricate, and thought-provoking with a touch of mystery and a pinch of poetry—just what I like from a story collection!”

Serena Morales, Books Are Magic (Brooklyn, NY)

In Seasons of Purgatory, the fantastical and the visceral merge in tales of tender desire and collective violence, the boredom and brutality of war, and the clash of modern urban life and rural traditions. Mandanipour, banned from publication in his native Iran, vividly renders the individual consciousness in extremis from a variety of perspectives: young and old, man and woman, conscript and prisoner. While delivering a ferocious social critique, these stories are steeped in the poetry and stark beauty of an ancient land and culture.

Seasons of Purgatory is translated from the Persian by Sara Khalili.

Chicago Review of Books “Must-Read Books” selection

Publishers Weekly “Books of the Week” selection

Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” selection

Powell’s Books “New Literature in Translation” selection

Books Are Magic “Most Anticipated Books” selection

Excerpt from Seasons of Purgatory

Available Jan 25, 2022