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This is real Tehran: a city that is hidden from view and rarely written about, where survival depends on an intricate network of lies and subterfuge. It is a place where mullahs visit prostitutes, drug kingpins run crystal meth kitchens, surgeons restore girls' virginity and homemade porn is uploaded onto the Internet and sold in the bazaars. Plotted around the city's great central thoroughfare, Vali Asr Street, CITY OF LIES chronicles the lives of eight protagonists drawn from across the spectrum of Iranian society. This is a world of gangsters, socialites, dutiful housewives and volunteer militiamen - ordinary people forced to lead extraordinary lives. Based on extensive interviews and research, CITY OF LIES is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of modern Tehran, and of what it is to live, love and survive under one of the world's most repressive regimes.
Orion Publishing Co
Number of Pages
is bleak and ugly side of Iran, in which she has broken taboos and laid bare what everyone knows but nobody mentions... She writes well and with fluency, in tight prose -- Antony Wynn TLS In City of Lies Ramita Navai tells us that 'in order to live in Tehran you have to lie'. Survival there depends on dodging the fatwas of Iran's medieval theocratic regime. Drink, drugs and paid-for sex proliferate; the divorce rate soars while religious attendance tumbles. Navai paints brilliantly insightful portraits of eight Tehranis suffering under an Iranian revolution which has gone terribly wrong - but with no stomach for another in the light of the failed 'Arab Spring' -- Jonathan Rugman THE SPECTATOR (Books of the Year) Gripping, a dark delicious unveiling of the secret decadent life of Islamic Tehran, deeply researched yet exciting as a novel -- Simon Sebag Montefiore EVENING STANDARD Each chapter reads almost like a short story, covering the fascinating inner worlds of socialites, prostitutes, gangsters, junkies and anti-regime bloggers. Nose jobs, illicit sex, bribery and fear of the Gashte Ershad morality police loom large in this vivid captivating insight as Navai explores the little reported day-to-day existence of Tehranians -- Tom Chesshyre THE TIMES 'Books of the Year' Compulsively readable... readers are granted a panoramic view of Iranian society THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE This is an important book. A seamless literary tapestry that just happens to be true. Ramita Navai's collection of stories are uniquely Iranian yet they will move, chill and delight even a reader indifferent to Persia -- Sam Kiley, Foreign Affairs Editor, SKY NEWS Ramita Navai has written a fascinating, unforgettable book about the unbreakable human spirit in one of the world's great cities -- Jeremy Bowen The stories are beautiful, and they're so well-detailed and nuanced -- Jon Stewart THE DAILY SHOW Utterly gripping and one of the best books I've read in a long time -- Jane Merrick THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY