Art And Culture

Beijing Fair Bans 2 Iran Books

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The English translations of two books written by Iranian authors have been banned at the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF).

The 20th edition of BIBF, August 24-28, censored two books at Iran's pavilion, Mehr News Agency quoted Afshin Shahnetabar, director of Candle and Fog Publishing House as saying.

One of the banned books is a publication of the Tehran and London-based Candle and Fog: 'Democracy or Demo Crazy', a political satire novel by author, novelist, journalist and screen writer Seyyed Mehdi Shojaee, 55.

The other is 'A Vital Killing', a highly acclaimed collection of Iranian short war stories from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war by war writer and essayist Ahmad Dehqan, 49, who is best known for his book 'Journey to Heading 270 Degrees'. It has been published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, part of the Amazon group of companies.

Both the books are translated by American translator Caroline Croskery.

Regarded "as being contradictory to the antiwar policy of BIBF", the books were removed from public display, "much to my deep surprise," Shahnetabar said.

"I think there must have been a misunderstanding; the books do not promote war and violence," he said.

Book censorship in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is mandated by the ruling party, the Communist Party of China. The percentage ratio of official-to-unlicensed books is said to be 40:60.