the ultimate challenge: to exercise the strength of will

an interior monologue during a harrowing cab ride through the streets of Tehran as Pardis rushes to the airport to stop her lover from leaving.
Vis & I
Vis & I
VIS & I is an interior monologue during a harrowing cab ride through the streets of Tehran as Pardis rushes to the airport to stop her lover from leaving. Multiple narrative threads and flashbacks, real and imaginary voices—primarily that of Vis, the heroine of the Persian epic romance, Vis & Ramin—interweave in this gritty, postmodern love story. VIS & I poses the ultimate challenge: to exercise the strength of will that Vis has come to represent in the Iranian literary canon and psyche in the vindication of a forbidden love and being true to oneself.
Review by Elizabeth Lowe (Small Press Book Review)

The potency of Vis & I will no doubt be greater for readers who are better-acquainted with the trauma experienced by those who suffered under Khomeini. Much was prohibited, and activities, such as sunbathing, were relegated to the imagination. You cannot fault any of the novel’s facets. Several of the passages, such as the exchange between Pardis and the taxi driver, are priceless. It is an admirable accomplishment, as well as a genuine work of art. —Review by Elizabeth Lowe (Small Press Book Review), Read full review here …

Review by Alireza Korangy (Editor-in-chief International Journal of Persian Literature)

“This book serves as a testament to how a translation can bring alive a work of brilliant prose by keeping intact vivid images that in case of this book are surgically mindful of complex cultural nuances. Farideh Razi’s depiction of the classically ingrained ideas and ideals of the Iranian mind as pertains to romance and its epic proportions is NOT lost in translation. Niloufar Talebi places the Western reader in the midst of the tumultuous sea of love in the Persian mind, capturing nuances embedded in anxieties of union and pangs of separation in Vis & I. Talebi deserves recognition for being a new resounding—and resonating—voice for Persian creative writing through her insightful translation. The difficult task of translating the to and fro of time and space in this novel is accomplished without a hitch. Her translation is a guide to the turns and twists of a psyche of a folk utterly and eternally entwined with its rich literary past while tortured by a sometimes hyper-intellectual—and often simply paranoid—post-rationalized present: the products of anxieties that are compounding reminders of an ongoing Shiite passion-play and martyr complex, I dare say, within every Iranian and ‘Persian’; and their hyper-sensitivities forever immersed in the fantastical vision of the self. Talebi has served the Persian language divinely. A Great read indeed and a fantastic exhibition of virtuosity in the art of translation. Kudos to both author and translator!” —Alireza Korangy (Editor-in-chief International Journal of Persian Literature)

Review by Jeanette Skirvin (translator, author, and editor of STARK, poetry journal)

“Where does the invisible line or the astonishing quantum of the imagination that does not translate into a tangible expression get stuck?”

Acclaimed contemporary Iranian award-winning author, Farideh Razi weaves a riveting story of forbidden love between ancient lovers, Vis and Ramin by inserting herself into the romance as half of one of the ancients (Vis) in an imaginary triangle caught in up in a cab’s race against the clock to the airport in an effort to halt Ramin’s imminent departure.

The story is fantastical in its harried rhythm, that of the present’s maddening slow motion versus history spinning further and further forward…. Or is it spiraling backward?

This is a tale within a story; a love affair encrypted in the author’s spirit then inked as bits of instants revealed through real and imagined conversations while current events, history, mores and customs collide with rationalization and realization. “A dust of smoke rises from the heel of time.”

Faideh Razi’s brilliant novel has now arrived to the English-reading population by way of Niloufar Tilebi’s exquisite sensitive translation.

Jeanette Skirvin (translator and two-time award winning author, Bookvana Award 2016; FACE and SNOW SIZZLING IN SOLEIL and editor of STARK, the Poetry Journal)

The Author Farideh Razi
One of Iran’s acclaimed contemporary writers, FARIDEH RAZI is also a translator, playwright, poet and scholar. Born in Tehran, she studied English and Persian Literature, and Art and Philosophy at New York University, The New School, and Tehran University. She worked as researcher at the Ministry of Art and Culture, and the National Library in Iran. Selected as the Best Novel of 1998, the critically acclaimed Vis & I is an inventive work of fiction that opens a revelatory window onto what it is like to live, love, and be an artist in Iran.
The Translator Niloufar Talebi
NILOUFAR TALEBI is a writer, librettist, award-winning translator, and multi¬discip¬linary artist. She is the editor/translator of Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, 2008), and creator/performer of multi¬media works based on her translations. Her operas and other texts for classical music have been commis¬sioned by and presented at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Talebi’s work received accolades from the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Classical Voice, and Huffington Post.

ISBN 978-91-7637-244-9
114p, B&W 5 x 8 in Perfect Bound on Creme w/Gloss Lam

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