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Art And Culture

'Geography of You & Me' in Persian

In her novel 'The Geography of You and Me' American novelist Jennifer Smith has carefully charted a map of long-distance relationship. Her map shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person.  The book is now available in Persian.

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they stay together for a while, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and finally a reunion in the city where they first met.

The Geography of You and Me is translated into Persian by prolific translator Mehrayin Okhovat and is recently published by Tehran-based Hirmand Publications. The book soon became popular among Iranians, encouraging IBNA to interview the novelist whose books have been translated in over 30 languages.

"The book is first of all about relations. What happens between the characters is not necessarily love. It is more of a casual relationship between two persons. However, the romantic part of the novel is continuation of the relation after they depart, even when such relation has no benefit," Jennifer Smith said in the interview.

"The idea of the book struck me in New York's 2003 citywide blackout. I was in the middle of the magical, mysterious darkness. Then I thought that I should write about the people who meet each other in such settings.

Except for the blackout, the entire novel is a figment of my imaginations. It seemed an interesting idea to have the characters meet in a place with no way out. A mandatory proximity is a good start for an affectionate relationship."

I had visited most of the cities my characters traveled to. I love all these places and it was like my second trip with Lucy and Owen. I love traveling and have always wanted to write a novel whose characters go to various countries. I send more postcards since I wrote the novel."

Smith thanked Iranian readers for their attention to her book. "I am truly happy that Iranians liked my book. Iran is an attractive place. One day I may visit the country."

For those who liked The Geography of You and Me, Smith recommended another of her novels The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It is about a girl who has missed her flight and is stuck at JFK airport and late for her father's second wedding. She meets a boy but loses track of him in the airport chaos … "I don't want to tell you the rest. I recommend you read it yourself," Smith said.

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