July 1, 2005

Bill Clinton, Iranian bestseller . . .


“Iranians may shout Death to America and burn the Stars and Stripes in demonstrations, but the memoir of former US President Bill Clinton is on the way to becoming a runaway bestseller in the country,” according to an Agence France Presse wire story. Other recent bestsellers there: Harry Potter, Hillary Clinton‘s Living History, and George and Laura : Portrait of an American Marriage. Publisher Farhang Fattemi says “outgoing President Mohammad Khatami‘s role in relaxing regulations had greatly boosted the number of books published in the past eight years,” and expressed “hope that ultra-conservative president-elect Mahmood Ahmadinejad will go easy on publishing.” Clinton’s My Life has just come out as a two-volume hardback “costing a hefty 150,000 rials (16.5 dollars)” and is selling well after authorities took nine months to vet the book. Authorities also halted sales for a few days, saying “Clinton’s picture on the cover would be arousing for women.” Without further explanation, the AFP simply reports, “The problem was later resolved.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives