A reading by Nihad Sirees and Shahriar Mandanipour

A reading by Nihad Sirees and Shahriar Mandanipour.


Nihad Sirees was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1950.  He is the distinguished author of seven novels, several plays, and numerous screenplays.   His work has been banned from publication in Syria since the 1998 screening of his television drama, The Silk Market, which described social turmoil in Syria in 1956 – 61 and the subsequent rise to power of the Baath Party.   He was branded an opponent of the government and publication of several of his works was forbidden by government censors.  His subsequent novels, A Case of Passion and Noise and Silence, were published abroad.  A historical television drama about the life of Lebanese-born American writer and painter Khalil Gibran, written during a stay at the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa in 2005, was produced in Lebanon and screened in 2007 on Arab satellite channels, but Sirees continued to be excluded from public intellectual and cultural life in Syria and banned from publishing or producing work in his homeland. To learn more about Nihad see International Writers Project Fellows


Shahriar Mandanipour is regarded as one of the most accomplished writers of contemporary Iranian literature. His creative approach to the use of symbols and metaphors, his inventive experimentation with language, time and space, as well as his unique awareness of sequence and identity have made his work fascinating to critics and readers alike. His honors include the Mehregan Award for the best Iranian children’s novel of 2004, the 1998 Golden Tablet Award for best fiction in Iran during the previous two decades, and Best Film Critique at the 1994 Press Festival in Tehran.  See Shahriar's faculty page to learn more.