May 3, 2005

No free galleys at Tehran Book Fair . . .


The 18th annual Tehran Book Fair, set to begin Wednesday, certainly has its work cut out for it, at least according to some. As a story from Mehr News reports, “The managing director of Roshangaran Publications said on Saturday that Iran’s book publishing sector is poor, sick, and in the throes of death, and the Tehran Book Fair is the only factor injecting life into it, keeping the sick body alive.” Meanwhile, Shahla Lahiji, director of the Women’s Studies Center, says the point of the event is not to promote Iranian book culture, talk rights, or meet other book industry people from around the world, but rather, for publishers to “sell more and more of their books in order to raise funds to keep themselves afloat for the rest of the year.”

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